How to Measure and Size Suspenders

Whether you've decided to give your professional wardrobe an added fashion accent, outfitting the wedding party, want to jazz up your closet with something different or just need to keep your tool belt from showing off those great buns, you want to buy a pair of suspenders that fit well. But figuring out what size suspenders you need doesn't seem obvious. What happens if you pick the wrong size? If one size suspender does not fit all, then how do you figure out what size suspender you need?

Well, there's an easy way for you to find out, and it involves measuring. Watch our "How to Measure and Size Suspenders" video to get valuable information about suspender measurements. Dave from the SuspenderStore is an experienced expert on how to measure suspenders and he can help you figure out exactly how to measure yourself so that you get the perfect size suspender. One key tip you'll learn from watching the video is that suspenders can only be shortened, not lengthened. So it's super important that you get the sizing correct when you first learn how to fit suspenders, especially if you are ordering leather suspenders.

You can also learn how to measure yourself using a measuring tape. If you don't have the kind of measuring tape that tailors and dressmakers use, don't worry as Dave reveals a neat trick to solve that problem without scrounging through the craft store.

Just think. In less than 10 minutes, you can learn how to measure and size that rocking pair of suspenders that you've had your eye on. By the end of the video, you'll know how to measure for men's suspenders, women's suspenders and youth suspenders.


Today we are going to talk about how to measure and figure out what size suspenders you need.

If you only watch one of our videos, this is the one to watch because it can save both of us the time and money of exchanging suspenders if you get the wrong size.

So the questions we get asked by far more than any others are: "What size suspenders do I need" and "How do you measure for suspenders?"

First, we will explain what the measurement is and then we will show you how to do it.

The given length of the suspenders is the length of the suspenders FULLY EXTENDED from end to end, tip to tip.

Since we measure the suspenders from tip to tip, to get YOUR size, you want to measure that same distance on your body. We do this by taking a tape measure, and starting where the suspenders attach on your back, and running them up and over your shoulders to where they attach on the front of your pants. Make sure that you do it with normal posture. That length in inches is your size.

I run it from back to front so that I can see the measurement on the front side when I'm done.

The best way to do it is to use one of these flexible tailor's tape measures. But if you only have a metal tape measure, or a ruler, what you can do is use a string to get the length, mark it, and then measure the string.

Another way to get your measurement is if you have any other suspenders, just lay them on a table and measure them. If they are set to fit you, meaning that the adjuster is at the height where you wear them, then you will get YOUR measurement. However, if they are fully extended, you will get the measurement of the suspenders.

We carry the widest variety of suspender lengths of any suspenders' retailer. Why? Because everybody is different. Beware of stores that try to tell you that one size fits all. It doesn't. That doesn't make any sense if you think about it. They just don't want to carry multiple sizes.

So here we have examples of most of the common lengths of suspenders.

25…30…36…42…48…54…60 46 52 40, 50, 60

I am 5'9", weigh 175, and I can squeeze into a size 42. I usually wear size 48 or 46 in dress style. For example, these suspenders here are fully extended, and as you can see, they measure 48 inches long. That is as long as they get. They can be shortened, but they cannot be lengthened. And this is a key thing to remember about suspenders. YES, they are adjustable, but you can only make them shorter, not longer, than their measurement length.

So if you are ever in doubt about what size to get, if you are close to the next size in the measurement chart, it is always safer to round up and get the next larger size, because, once again, you can make them shorter but not longer.

We have been talking up to this point about clip suspenders. We start our measurement at the top of the pants where the clip clips on.

For button suspenders, the principle is the same, but we measure them from button to button. So you would start down between ½ an inch or an inch and finish there on the other side.

And since belt clip or belt loop suspenders reach all the way down to the bottom of your belt loops, you want to measure from the bottom of your rear center belt loop to the bottom of a front belt loop.

You might wonder whether it matters if the suspenders are X-back or Y-back when you measure. Technically it does matter but since it would be hard to exactly follow a Y-back path on your back, especially if you are measuring by yourself, then just keep in mind that if you measure the X path but want a Y-back suspender you should subtract an inch or so.

We try to make it easy to figure out how to size yourself. We have a link to a detailed Size Guide on the top of all our pages. On all the item pages we have a pop-up quick reference guide that gives size ranges based on height. For the vast majority of people, the guidelines work fine, but if you use the guidelines think about your build. When we say a 42-inch suspender fits someone between 5'0" tall and 5'9", we mean someone of average build. If you are 5'8", have a long torso or a belly or weigh well over 200 pounds, you're not going to get into that suspender, just get the next size up. So if you are near a size transition point and there is anything about your build that may make you above average, shall we say, you should round up to the next size.

There is one last sizing topic, leather suspenders, especially Western-style leather suspenders. The issue with leather suspenders is that they have a much smaller fit range than elastic suspenders. For starters, they do not stretch, but mainly, instead of a sliding adjuster that can give you a pretty wide adjustment range, they adjust with a buckle, like a belt, and most of them only have about five holes, so you have a narrow five-inch fit range. Also, we find inconsistencies between suppliers in sizing.

For these reasons we ask everyone to try to measure themselves before buying a leather suspender. We just want to minimize returns and exchanges. We want to get it right the first time. There's the old expression measure twice cut once. We have put in red on all the western leather item pages the actual measurements of the different sized suspenders. So measure yourself and refer to those guides to get the right one.

So that's the basics on measuring and sizing for suspenders. If you have any questions, please give us a call. And I hope that we measure up.