Suspender Fabrics 101

Suspenders come in many different fabrics. Which fabric you should choose depends on a number of different factors including what you intend to wear the suspenders with (jeans? Khaki pants? Business Suit? Tuxedo?), what the occasion is (everyday wear versus special occasion) and how much you want to spend (a little or a lot). No matter how you answer these questions – you can find the perfect suspenders at SuspenderStore.

What are the most popular suspenders made of? The workhorses of the suspender world are all elastic suspenders. Loved by many for their versatility, ease of fit and low cost - all elastic suspenders come in many different varieties. The most basic styles are solid color all elastic suspenders, and within this group there are many variations in width, crosspatch style, and type of attachment - all of which impact how casual or dressy the suspenders will look.

Please refer to our other style guides on these topics for more details. In general, you can't go wrong with a solid color when choosing all elastic suspenders. While shopping our huge selection, you can easily find one or more elastic suspender styles that look great with a suit, a tuxedo, khakis or jeans. And they are often priced so affordably that you can buy one in every color you want!

Variety of suspenders
Variety of suspenders
Variety of suspenders
Variety of neon suspenders
Variety of suspenders
Variety of suspenders

Just a few of the many varieties of solid all elastic suspenders available at SuspenderStore.

In addition to the basic solid colors, all elastic suspenders come in a variety of different finishes. These include glitter suspenders with a sparkly finish, French satin suspenders that are lustrous and smooth, undergarment suspenders made from super soft material and Rugged Comfort suspenders made with a thick, heavy duty elastic with less stretch. And the vast majority of our novelty suspenders - which feature a wide range of fun prints and patterns - are all elastic suspenders.

Variety of glitter suspenders
Variety of leather suspenders
Pink suspender
Variety of brightly colored suspenders

From glitter to French satin to undergarment to novelty prints – all elastic suspenders come in many different shapes and sizes!

At SuspenderStore, we think elastic used for making suspenders should always be of the highest quality. This is why our elastic styles are made of suspender material that stretches nicely without losing its shape or becoming frayed at the edges after normal wear.

So what's the deal with non-elastic suspenders? As the name implies, non-­elastic suspenders are made of a variety of non-­stretchy materials. However, because it is important for suspenders to have some give to them to allow for the suspender to conform to a variety of body sizes and shapes, virtually all non­-elastic suspenders have an elastic section underneath the cross (the patch located on the back of the suspender). Without this elastic section, non­-elastic suspenders would only fit a smaller range of people.

SuspenderStore carries suspenders made from many different types of non-­elastic fabrics including polypropylene, grosgrain, jacquard, oxford cloth, leather, silk, hand-­-woven silk and even horsehair!

The polypropylene fabric used for suspenders is similar in look and feel to the material used on the handle of a duffle bag. It is used primarily for heavy-­duty suspenders because it's strong and durable, does not stretch and does not soak up water but is still comfortable to wear. Our work and support suspenders feature this type of fabric making them ideal for helping to hold up heavy tool or work belts. The fabric is inexpensive to produce, making these suspenders a cost effective choice for heavy-­duty work.

While polypropylene is generally rough and tough, and many of the other non-­stretchy materials are notable for their upscale look and feel, leather suspenders can evoke either a rugged or dressy style depending on the width, type of leather and attachment type used in its design. With their generally wider width, trigger snap attachments and thick plain or stamped leather, the suspenders in our Gallus collection have a distinctly western appearance. On the other hand, the braided leather and plain leather suspenders we carry have a very different look, which is quite versatile and can be worn in either dressy or casual venues.

Variety of polypropylene fabric suspenders

Please note that while leather does not inherently have a lot of "give", over time and with wear, leather suspenders will soften and stretch slightly as they age.

Brown and black leather suspenders
Brown and black leather suspenders

SuspenderStore also carries non-­elastic suspenders in three mid-­priced dressy materials - grosgrain, oxford cloth and jacquard.

Grosgrain suspenders Grosgrain has a ribbon-­like look while Oxford Cloth (below) has a basket weave appearance.

Grosgrain (pronounced groh-­-greyn) is similar to ribbon in its look and texture. Made with a very tight weave and narrow ribbing, grosgrain suspenders look traditional and classy and go well with casual trousers, sport coats and business suits.


Oxford Cloth, another very traditional fabric, has a distinctive basket weave pattern and light luster and is generally made of a durable cotton or cotton blend. Made of the same type of material often used for dress shirts, oxford cloth suspenders pair well with any tailored or sporty attire.

Oxford cloth suspenders
Jacquard fabric suspenders These jacquard suspenders show the classic tone-­on-­tone appearance of jacquard fabrics in general

Jacquard fabric, (pronounced Jak-­-ahrd or juh-­- kahrd) refers to fabrics which have a pattern incorporated into the weave rather than being printed or dyed on. Jacquard fabrics, named for the type of loom that produces the fabric, often have a distinctive two-­toned appearance although multi-­colored patterns can also be produced. Damasks, tapestries, and brocades are all types of jacquard fabrics. With their distinctively rich appearance, jacquard suspenders look great with business and dress wear. The jacquard suspenders we carry often have elastic incorporated into the weave to provide both the flexible fit associated with all elastic suspenders and the elegant look produced by the jacquard weaving process.

Widely regarded as the most luxurious fabric available, silk enjoys a reputation of being the epitome of high fashion. The process of cultivating and harvesting silk from cocoons is time consuming and delicate, making products made from silk relatively expensive. The feel of silk is unmistakable - smooth and luxurious - and our silk suspenders are no exception. From solid colors to classic motifs, silk suspenders (also called braces) are a staple in the impeccably dressed gentleman's wardrobe. Whether you'll be in a boardroom or at a wedding, wearing silk suspenders will lend an air of polish and sophistication to your attire.

Silk suspenders Silk suspenders are luxurious and classy

And finally, for men with truly discriminating taste and the resources to match, the most luxurious suspenders available are our hand-­woven silk and horsehair suspenders. Not only is the process of cultivating and harvesting the materials for these suspenders labor intensive, but their design and production is also meticulous and painstaking. While the materials for most suspenders are produced on automatic looms, these suspenders are hand woven (or in the case of horsehair - hand braided) into intricate designs using many different colors. Given the amount of time it takes to produce these suspenders from beginning to end, not only are they expensive, but they are also made in limited quantities, making them both highly unique and collectible. Fashion wise, hand-woven silk suspenders are most commonly worn for business or special occasions while our horsehair suspenders are most at home "on the range."

Hand-woven silk suspenders
Horsehair suspenders

As you can see, suspenders come in all types of fabrics and styles, so no matter what your budget or your personal taste, you can find the right suspender at SuspenderStore. To help you choose, we've included the table below to summarize the key differences between the suspender fabrics we carry. Happy shopping!

  Stretchiness Dressiness Cost
Elastic High Varies by pattern/Style generally more casual Inexpensive
Polypropylene None Casual – usually found in heavy duty work suspenders Inexpensive
Leather None/Low – will stretch over time Casual or Dressy -­- varies by style Mid-­-range
Grosgrain None Moderate -­- High Mid-­-range
Oxford Cloth None Moderate -­- High Mid-­-range
Jacquard Medium due to elastic woven in Moderate -­- High Mid-­-range
Silk None Dressy High
Hand-­woven Silk None Very Dressy Expensive
Horsehair None Casual Expensive