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Style Guide: What Size Suspenders Should I Order?

We carry suspenders in 7 standard sizes – from 25-in suspenders for Children up to 2 years old to 60-­-inch suspenders for Big and Tall folks. With all these choices, the most frequently asked question we hear from our customers is: "Which size should I order?"

Determining the right size suspender depends on a number of different factors including the height, weight, and body build of the person who will be wearing them. It is important to think about all these factors when determining size because even if two people are the same height and weight they might be built differently – with one being short waisted and the other being long waisted for instance – which could impact the correct sizing. Also, how high or low you wear your pants can also affect the length suspender you need.

The absolute best way to determine the appropriate size suspender to order is to use a tape measure to measure the person who will be wearing the suspenders. Starting the top of the pants where the suspenders will attach in the back, and running diagonally up over the opposite shoulder to the top of the pants in the front where they will attach will give you the distance the suspenders need to travel. Take that number and order the next size up.

All of our suspender lengths are given FULLY EXTENDED. This means that the suspenders can be shortened but not lengthened. So if the measurement comes to 44-­-inches, then you would order a 48-­-inch suspender because the suspender can be shortened to the 44-­-inches for an exact fit. However, if the measurement is 50-­- inches, you would order the 54-­-inch suspender and shorten it, because the 48 inch suspender is fully extended and cannot be lengthened further.

That being said – all suspenders have some amount of give to them. For all elastic suspenders, the entire suspender is stretchy and for non-­-elastic suspenders (leather, silk, grosgrain, etc.) there is an elastic piece below the cross patch in the back, which provides some stretchiness and give. Almost all suspenders also have metal adjusters on the front that slide up and down for more substantial adjustability.

Most suspenders have a metal adjuster on the front that slides up and down so the suspenders can be shortened or lengthened. Non-­elastic suspenders also have an elastic section below the cross patch for additional give.

You should also consider where you would prefer this metal adjuster to fall on your chest in choosing your size. For instance, if you measure 42-­-inches exactly, a 42-­- inch suspender will fit you, but the adjuster will fall very low on your chest close to the top of your pants. If you prefer the adjuster to be further up your chest, you may want to choose the next size up (in this example, a 48-­-inch suspender) so the adjuster will fall mid-­-way up your chest.

Both these men could have worn two different length suspenders. The one on the left went with the shorter length and the adjusters hit just above the top of the pants. The man on the right choose the longer suspenders and the adjusters hit him high on the chest.

Because suspenders make wonderful gifts, many times it is not feasible or practical to actually measure the person who will be wearing the suspenders. In that case, the best we can do is guestimate the correct size based primarily on height and somewhat on weight and build. Our website has size charts based on height on every page, which is as follows:

As you can see, we provide sizing based on height ranges based on what length suspender fits MOST people in a given height range. If the person you are buying for falls at the high or low end of a particular height range, then you should consider the following other factors:

  • Is the person heavy or slim?
  • Is the person particularly short or long waisted?
  • Does the person wear their pants particularly high or low?

If the person falls at the high end of a given height range and is particularly heavy, long-­-waisted or wears their pants low – then you probably want to move up to the next size. Conversely, if the person is at the low end of a given height range and is slim, short-­-waited or wears their pants high, then you might want to try the next smaller size.

You may notice that we carry some suspenders in different lengths than the standard lengths listed on our size chart. Most often you will see a 46-­-inch length – primarily on dress suspenders. The reason for this variation is that some of our suppliers only make their suspenders in that length in a “one size fits almost all” approach. 46-­-inch suspenders generally fit someone 5’2” to 6’1” tall. Occasionally these same manufacturers will offer a 52” length as well. 52-­-inch suspenders generally fit someone 6” – 6’4” tall. And finally, in our kids’ suspenders, we carry a handful of 33 1/2” long suspenders (85 cm) that generally fit kids 2 ½ to 4 ½ feet tall. These suspenders are made in Europe and use metric sizes.

Our Leather and Western suspenders - Rugged Comfort, Leather Galluses, Handcrafted Leather and Horsehair suspenders - come in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes. Because many of these suspenders are handcrafted, there is a large degree of variability between the sizes of the different suspender styles. We provide detailed sizing information for each type of western suspender on the individual product page. Please refer to these specific size guides to ensure a good fit. If it is absolutely impossible to measure the person who while be wearing these suspenders - the average length and height guestimates for these sizes is as follows:

Size Length of Suspender Generally fits people:
Small 36 inches Under 5’6” tall
Medium 42 inches 5’6” to 5’10” tall
Large 48 inches 5’9” to 6’2” tall
X-­-Large 52 inches 6’1” to 6’5” tall

These suspenders adjust on the front via a belt buckle type attachment. Our length measurements above are with the belt set in the middle setting. Moving the belt attachment up or down allows about 2 inches of adjustment in either direction. In addition, most of our galluses have some adjustability on the elastic portion of the back. However, the elastic on the back of our Rugged Comfort and Handcrafted Leather suspenders is not adjustable and is also less stretchy.


Leather Suspenders typically have a belt buckle like adjuster on the front.
A final note on our leather suspenders is that while leather does not inherently have much give, with wear over time the leather will stretch slightly as it ages.

And remember, if you or someone you ordered for receives the suspenders and they don’t fit, SuspenderStore has an easy return and exchange policy. Simply package the suspenders up making sure to close the clips if they are clip suspenders, loosen the adjusters on all suspenders and follow the return and exchange instructions on the back of the packing slip. As long as the suspenders are returned in good condition (not worn, stained, etc.) within a reasonable timeframe (generally around 30 days with more liberal times during the holiday gift giving season), we’re happy to provide an exchange or refund.

We’re also happy to talk to you if you need further assistance determining the right size or type suspender to purchase. We have customer service representatives ready to answer any questions you might have from Monday – Friday from 9-­-4 Eastern Standard Time. If you call during non-­-business hours, you can leave a message and we will return your call. We are also available by email at info@suspenderstore.com.