Imagine you’ve been given a fantastic present, but the person who gave it to you didn’t wrap it. You may love your gift, but wouldn’t you miss all the excitement and anticipation that comes with untying the exquisite wrapping?
And so it is with some of lingerie’s more complicated pieces. Take stockings and suspenders for example. Yes, they’re a bit fiddly. And yes, tights are more practical. But, when it comes to those special occasions, there’s nothing like a lingerie set worn with seductive suspenders to make your significant other feel like they’re getting a perfectly gift-wrapped present. Because they are - you!
But if you thought suspenders were only good for Valentine’s Day, you may be missing a trick. Not only will sultry satin or luxurious lace suspenders add a touch of glamour to your everyday attire, there’ll be no more hold-ups ending up around your ankles or hot, uncomfortable tights when the weather gets warmer. And if you get a ladder? You only need to change one stocking, not throw away a whole pair.
If wearing suspenders still seems a bit daunting, we can help. From how to get your suspender belt on to tips on feeling comfortable while you’re wearing it, let your transformation into total sex bomb begin…
What are suspenders?
Worn either at the waist or on the hips, suspenders include a ‘belt’ made of a strip of elasticated material with four (or sometimes six) elasticated straps attached to each side. These suspender straps have rubber discs on the end which clip onto the stockings to hold them securely in place.
Known as garter belts in the US, they may seem like old-fashioned contraptions today, but they were very liberating for women when they were first invented in the 1920s. Before that, stockings were either attached to tight-fitting girdles, or held up by equally tight garters that would cut off circulation and dig in to the skin.
The invention of the suspender belt not only freed women from those rib-squeezing girdles, but they also allowed skirt hemlines to rise. Finally, women could wear looser, shorter skirts than ever before, affording them greater freedom of movement.
During World War II, suspenders were routinely issued to WAAFs and they became incredibly popular. However, they fell out of fashion in the 1960s with the arrival of the mini skirt. This higher hemline needed even higher hosiery, and tights quickly took over from stockings.
Choosing the right suspender belt
Suspenders are usually dress-sized, with a hook-and-eye fastening at the back that lets you adjust the fit. The belt should fit snugly but comfortably and should never press into your flesh or cause bulges. If you’re in-between sizes, it’s best to choose the size up, even if it means fastening the belt on the tightest hook-and-eye.
Here are some of the different suspender styles available.
Waist suspender belts
If you were planning to wear your suspender belt out for the evening, choose one that sits on comfortably on your waist, like the Suspense. Not only does it have powermesh to give it extra strength, but your hips will stop it from slipping down, which will stop you from having to constantly readjust it. A waist belt will also have longer straps, meaning you’ll be able to walk and move more freely.
Waspie suspender belts
Love the retro look of a waspie corset? A suspender belt like the Hush will let you nail the figure-flattering trend and keep your stockings up at the same time. A great way to highlight your waist and flatten your tummy, you can even remove the straps and wear the Hush just as a corset if you wish - two looks in one!
Suspender belt briefs
Choosing suspenders with briefs built-in will eliminate the dilemma of whether to wear your belt under or over your knickers. The Frill Me Skirted Suspender Brief looks cute and feminine with a gentle ruffle skirt effect that sensuously skims your contours.
You can also get a slinky chemise that comes with built-in suspender straps, such as the Illicit Cami Suspender. With its sheer lattice mesh it’ll make you exude sexiness, and the suspender straps have feminine bows that hide the fastening.
Read more about chemises
How to put on suspenders
There are several ways to go about it, depending on your preference. One way would be to put the suspender belt on first, followed by the stockings. Either sitting or standing, clip the front fastening in place first, then stretch the back one down and clip it somewhere in the middle of the stocking.
Still struggling? If you just can’t get the rear suspenders to fasten properly (or to line up exactly with a seamed stocking) you can pre-attach the stockings to the suspender belt before you put it on like tights.
Once everything’s in place, adjust the length of the suspender straps so everything sits perfectly. Try sitting down and standing up again to check the straps are neither too short or too long.
How to attach suspenders
To open the fastening, simply slide the rubber nub up so it comes out of the large hole in the clasp. Put the thicker part of the stocking top over the rubber nub, then place the large hole in the clasp over both the rubber nub and stocking. Slide the nub up to secure the stocking.
Should you wear the suspenders under or over your knickers?
It’s perfectly fine if you want to wear your knickers over the top of your suspenders. In fact, it’s a great idea if you plan to wear stockings and suspenders out for the night, otherwise you’ll be in for some awkward bathroom breaks. But if you’re only wearing your suspenders in the bedroom, it’s really up to you.
Can you attach suspenders to hold ups?
You can, but suspenders normally work best with stockings rather than hold-ups. Hold-ups tend to have a thicker silicone rubber lining which don’t attach quite as well to the rubber fastenings on the suspender belt.
- Want to add some va-va-voom to your look? Get the best dressed legs in town with some stockings and suspenders from Pour Moi.