Do You Wear Suspenders With a Belt?

Belt or suspenders, please, not both.

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If you're wearing suspenders, you don't need a belt -- it's redundant. In fact, "belt and suspenders" is used a term for a system with built-in redundancy. Suspenders "suspend" your pants instead of cinching them around your waist. By the way, this means that suspenders can be a lot more comfortable than a belt, too. Suspenders are a fun way to borrow a menswear standard.

Suspender Mechanics

Suspenders are affixed with a clip or a button loop. For the latter style, you need a button to fit your button loop, and that can be hard to find in women's fashion. So it's wise to stick to clip-ons, especially if you're just learning the ropes when it comes to this particular fashion item.

Blurring the Line

Because women don't wear suspenders in the first place without at least an air of gender-bending, it's not a serious faux pas should you choose to wear them with a belt as well. It might work in bright punk colors, for example, or a lot of shiny hardware. But in general, it's better to choose one or the other lest someone think you're ignorant rather than innovative.

How to Wear

Clip suspenders to the waistband of your pants, skirt or shorts. Yes, even jeans. You can play up the menswear angle with dress pants and a button-up shirt or blazer. You can rock out with a punk-inspired ensemble and hook your suspenders over a band tee or other graphic design.

Breast Question

No, you don't have to be flat-chested to pull off the suspenders look. But figuring out where the straps properly lie -- across your breasts or to the side -- can be perplexing. Even our own Tyra struggled with this question when she appeared on "Access Hollywood Live." The answer is, you can wear them either way -- whichever looks better or more comfortable. If you wear them to the side of your breasts, you can try placing the front clips more toward your waist to help frame your bustline in a triangle shape.

Fun Fact

In British fashion terms, "suspenders" mean garters -- they call the above-the-waist version "braces." This can cause some major confusion around the term "belt and suspenders," as you can imagine.

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