If you spend any time looking at popular media you’ll see fat guys dressed like they’re wearing potato sacks. You know, baggy clothes, drab colors, and a serious lack of style.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Fat guys can look good just like anyone else and one of my favorite ways to level up my style is with suspenders. I’m not trying to look over the top, although that is an option, but suspenders do provide a perfect combination of style and function.
When you’re a fat guy, belts can really suck. They’re constantly digging into your skin every time you move or bend over and suspenders can make this a thing of the past.
I’m going to break down what you need to look for in a good pair of suspenders along with my 5 favorite options for you to check out. But if you just want to skip ahead and see what suspenders made the list you can check them out here:
Why Suspenders Are Great For Big Dudes
If you’re here, you’re probably already part of the suspenders gang.
But it’s still worth mentioning a few of the big benefits of going old school with suspenders when it comes to keeping up your pants.
Suspenders Are Way More Comfortable Than Belts
A lot of folks assume that fat guys don’t need belts or suspenders. Just because we’re big, everything will always fit perfectly?
I don’t exactly follow the logic but I do know that I need a belt to not only keep my pants up but also keep them in place. This is especially true at the end of the day, once my pants have stretched after being in the dryer and fit looser than they did in the morning.
But when you’re a bigger dude, belts can be very uncomfortable. We’ve got a great list of belts that work well for fat guys but sometimes you want to try something different.
Suspenders eliminate all the discomfort of belts and keep your pants right where they should be. That means you can bend over and sit down without having to worry about something digging into your gut or your pants showing off that dreaded “plumber’s crack”.
Suspenders Look Good!
There are some styles that don’t look good with big bodies but suspenders aren’t one of them!
But the big mistake most guys make is going for straps that are just too small. Similar to the guidelines we suggested for picking out the best tank tops for fat guys, you want to pick straps that are thick to match your body.
As long as you avoid teeny tiny straps, most guys will love the way they look with suspenders.
You Can Wear Them Under Your Shirt
Maybe you didn’t expect to see this as a benefit for suspenders but it’s actually a great option that many guys don’t always think about. Suspenders usually work really well if you’ve got a big belly, no butt situation (something I know all too well) but you don’t always want to wear them loud and proud.
The solution is dead simple: you can absolutely wear these suspenders under your shirt to keep your pants up in stealth mode. I wouldn’t wear them on your bare skin, but if you already wear an undershirt you can comfortably wear suspenders without anyone knowing.
That means your pants can stay high while keeping your profile low. With that in mind, don’t consider suspenders a special occasion option only. If they work for you, you can really wear them any time using the under-the-shirt technique.
Clips, Buttons…Or Belt?
One of the most confusing parts for guys that are new to suspenders is figuring out how to attach them. You’ve really got three options.
This is exactly what it sounds like and it’s when suspenders clip directly to your pants. Also called an alligator clip attachment, these are the easiest way to use suspenders but it’s also the least formal. There’s also a risk of damaging your pants over time as some clips can wear out the fabric.
That being said, clips do come in different styles. The downside for fat guys is that the stronger clips (like metal alligator clips) are a lot stronger than those made of hard plastic or smooth materials when it comes to holding your pants in place. The downside is that as bigger guys, we can put more pressure on our clothing than others, so stronger clips are more likely to damage our pants.
You really can’t beat how easy it is to use clips either, so I’ll definitely be including several clip options on our list. I’ll also be making sure that the clips are strong enough to handle fat guys.
Buttons give the most security in terms of keeping everything in place, which is great for fat guys, but they’re also the most complicated.
This setup requires you to attach your suspenders to buttons inside your pants. Unless the button breaks, your suspenders aren’t going anywhere.
However, you’ll need to specifically buy pants that have a suspender attachment inside or sew your own in after you buy them. Because there are a little more complicated, I didn’t end up including any of these on the list.
Okay, this might leave some guys puzzled. After all, one of the big benefits of going the suspender route is to skip the belt, right?
That’s true but the belt and suspended combo can actually work really well. You can keep your belt loose and comfortable, even when sitting, while letting your suspender do the heavy lifting.
It’s not the go-to option for most big guys but it’s going to give you a ton of security and make attaching your suspenders very easy.
X vs Y Back Suspenders…What’s Better For Big Guys?
Most suspenders come in one of two styles: X or Y back.
These are exactly what they sound like and it simply describes the style. For fat guys, there’s not much difference here but take a quick look at this side-by-side comparison from the guys at JJ Suspenders:
Just one look and you probably have a good idea of what looks more stylish and formal to you.
Okay, the photo is definitely biased since the Y suspender guy is standing like a total stud while our X suspender example looks a little…stiff. But I’m guessing you still feel that the Y suspender style looks better overall and I’d agree.
Maybe better isn’t even the right word, but instead, most people would agree that the Y-style suspenders are more formal. This certainly doesn’t mean you can’t pull off the X-style suspenders but if you’ve got a formal event, your go-to option should be the Y style.
I’ve got several X-style suspenders on the list because I think they can look great but it’s worth pointing out the difference in the look between the two. Fortunately, even if you don’t love the look, you can wear the suspenders under your shirt.
Even though they do look good, the big problem with Y suspender styles more often use the button-style attachment which may not work for most pants. For that reason, you’ll find a mix of both X and Y styles on this list but just consider which style you prefer if any.
How To Find The Right Size
Ah, yes. The constant struggle for any fat guy…actually finding the right size for your body.
Most of the suspenders on this list fall into the one size fits all category but before you close this page and roll your eyes realize that they’re also highly adjustable.
That means it really is one size fits all and fat guys are actually included in that.
Heck, our best overall pick covers up to 60-inch waists and you can probably get away with even more. In most cases, you can pick anything off this list and be good to go. I’ll also specifically mention sizing and height considerations when they come up.
If you’re going for a more formal suspender, you’ll often find that they have specific length measurements. For example, our premium pick from the folks at Suspender Store is not one size fits all and instead uses a very specific measuring system to help you get a perfect fit.
You can check out their video on how to properly measure yourself here and it will also help you get a feel for how the one size fits all options will line up too:
Best Suspenders For Fat Guys
Now that we’ve got the basic background information out the way and we know what we’re looking for let’s dive into the good part and look at which suspenders made the list.
Best Overall: Levi’s Men’s Big & Tall Adjustable X-Style Suspender
This X-style suspender from Levi checks all the boxes we’re looking for when it comes to finding a great pair of fat-guy-friendly suspenders.
For starters, the strap size is 1.5 inches in width. This isn’t massive, but it’s big enough that they won’t look silly on a big body.
These suspenders are also very adjustable and can support guys with waists up to 60 inches and beyond. That alone should give a lot of fat dudes a sigh of relief!
On top of that, the clips are sturdy enough to handle big bellies, even when you’re taking a seat and putting some extra pressure on them. They also lay flat against the body, so there’s no risk of them digging into your waistline like a belt.
When it comes to style, Levis is keeping it simple. These suspenders won’t win you any style awards but that’s not really the point.
Instead, this is a no-frills, highly functional, and easy-on-the-budget option for fat guys that need to keep their pants up without looking like a slob.
Your only option is black, which pretty much goes with everything. But again if you want more style options, check out the other choices on this list because we’ve got plenty for fat guys with louder styles.
Bottom line? These no-nonsense suspenders have plenty of room for big dudes with big bellies and can definitely be an option for the guy looking for a simple but functional design. You can see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best on a Budget: Dickies 1.5 Inch Adjustable Suspenders
There’s a lot to love about these Dickies brand suspenders for big guys. Not only are they easy on the budget but they’ve also got a few more color options to pick from compared to our best overall. Plus you can buy the individual suspender, or opt for a 2-pack of different colors (that’s what I did).
You’ll find all the usual dark shades along with some bright colors, too. If you’re a bit of a traditionalist you can even go for the bright red which is pretty much the classic suspender color. Everything about these suspenders is pretty classic, from the silver details to the X-shaped design.
The heavy-duty alligator clips are prepared to handle even the biggest bellies and these puppies are actually so strong that you’ll want to watch out for possible damage to your clothing from the clips.
They grip your pants so well because of sharp teeth that “grab” onto the waist of your pants. Take a look.
That may make some guys shy away from these, but honestly, I’d rather risk wearing out my pants than worry about them hitting the ground so I’ve got no problem with powerful clips. That being said, I’m not sure I’d put them to the test on an expensive suit.
Now, the sizing. Some fat guys may be very suspicious about anything that says one size fits all….and you probably should be. One size usually doesn’t fit all. Plus, these are a little bit stiffer compared to the other options on this list so they don’t stretch as much and may not be comfortable if they are too tight.
But in this case, Dickies actually delivers and the standard size easily fits up to a 42-inch waist without a problem. If you are still worried, they also offer an extended size to accommodate big and tall guys of any size.
But, unless you’re tall, the standard size will probably be plenty even if you’re coming in at over 300 pounds. If you are on the taller side, above 6 feet or so, then you should consider picking up the extended size and playing safe.
You can check out all the colors, read more reviews from big guys and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Y-Style: Bioterti Men’s Y-Shaped Heavy Duty Suspenders
If you prefer the Y-style suspenders then these are certainly worth checking out. Not only do you get the more formal Y-shape but you can also choose from 28 styles ranging from solid colors to complex designs.
The simpler color patterns are great for daily wear and while some of the paisley patterns are better suited to more formal events, you’re likely to find something that will suit your needs. Some of these colors are really solid choices when you need something stylish, just look at the color combo on the burgundy option.
What I really love about these is that they’ve combined the Y-style with clips that you usually see in X-shaped designs. That means you can snag a more formal look without having to pick up specialty pants or do any sewing.
That being said, when I was mentioning before that the color options are great for work or casual, these specific suspenders are better suited to dressy occasions. They don’t have teeth that grip or metal clasps like the other options mentioned so far and the manufacturer used sturdy plastic instead. Take a look.
The good news is that this makes these better suited for formal occasions when you might be worried about the damage that suspender clips could cause to your suit.
Since you don’t get the same grip, though, your pants might slide a little bit. This is more likely to happen with heavier fabrics like denim or khakis.
At 49 inches, these have plenty of room for fat or tall guys. Plus, they are really stretchy and comfortable to wear. They don’t dig into the shoulders at all- check out the stretch!
If you’re over 6’4″ or 350 pounds I’d suggest one of the above options on this list (or the best overall) but if you’re below that range these should do the trick.
You can pick out your favorite style and find out today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Heavy Duty Clips For Working Guys: Decalen Heavy Duty Braces
These heavy-duty suspenders from Decalen are casual enough to be worn every day but have enough power to be used as work suspenders. If you’re working in construction or any similar field, your pants might have to work double or even triple duty.
Not only do you need to wear heavy pants to stay protected but you may also need to carry tools for work. On top of that, you probably have a pretty formidable belly.
All that combined can be quite the challenge for most suspenders but these are built for the challenge with a big, bad, heavy-duty clip. Take a look.
These clips will keep your belly locked up and your pants on, even if you’re carrying a good amount of tools. To be clear, these aren’t tactical suspenders and if you need to carry a huge amount of tools you’ll want to check out something that’s purpose-built for that. Still, these are heavy-duty enough for most working guys.
But these aren’t just about function and there are some very unique color options here. Some of the fluorescent colors not only look good but they can also be practical if staying visible is part of your job. Plus, the embellishments and details like the clip logo just look sharp in my opinion.
The straps are also a little over 1.5 inches wide which gives them a thick look. Not only does that make these suspenders stronger but the wider straps also look better on bigger bodies. And, they’re really comfortable because of how stretchy they are.
These are designed to be big and tall friendly which also means they’re fat guy friendly. If you’re under 6 feet tall, you’re pretty much in clear no matter how big of a belly you have since these are designed for heights up to 6′ 4″ (193 cm).
If you’re over 6 feet tall and around 350 pounds or more then you might be pushing it with this specific brand. In that case, check out our best overall pick which is ready for the biggest and fattest of dudes.
Now, to the thing I don’t like about these suspenders. For guys who are up and moving a lot, these could work great. However, I do feel like the size of the clips causes a little digging when I’m seated. There’s also a risk of the pants coming unclipped in the back if you press up against a wall or move too much while driving because of the way the clip is designed.
If you want to see all the style options, read more reviews, and see today’s price on Amazon you can click here.
Premium Pick: Suspender Store’s Classic 2-Inch Suspender
You know things are serious when the entire store is simply called Suspender Store. These guys aren’t messing around when it comes to suspenders so it should be no surprise that not only do they have plenty of quality style options but they also deliver when it comes to sizing.
Instead of the one size fits all approach, the guys at Suspender Store size their suspenders based on length. The biggest they offer is 60 inches long which is designed for guys up to 6′ 9″ (206 cm) tall so if you’re tall then you’re in luck.
But suspenders that long are also great for fat guys. That extra length leaves plenty of room for big bellies. Of course, it’s going to depend on your height too, and just being fat doesn’t immediately mean you need to go for the 60-inch option.
Instead, you’ll want to take the proper measurements to get the perfect fit. You can check out this video from the Suspender Store for everything you need to know about sizing these.
These suspenders also have very wide 2-inch straps that are perfect for big guys. Remember, when we go for suspenders we want to avoid teeny, tiny straps that will look even smaller when they’re contrasted against our big bodies.
Bigger, wide straps look way better and 2 inches are some of the widest you can find. These are the widest on the list, with our other options being about 1 1/2 inches wide. 1 1/2 inches is good, but these are even better.
I will say that the straps seem a little stiff at first, but they do start to feel more comfortable after 2-3 wears. These also have alligator clips, but they aren’t as aggressive and pointy as some of the other alligator clips out there and I don’t feel that they’ll damage my clothes. Even though they aren’t as aggressive with clamping, they do clamp well enough that your pants aren’t going anywhere!
The colors and style options are great, but you’re not going to find anything too crazy. My favorite by far is the two-tone black and white combo that gives you a look somewhere between formal and casual.
This is just one specific option from the Suspender Store guys and if you’re looking for a button-style or just about any other style of suspender you can check out their full store on Amazon.
But if you like this 2-inch option as much as I do, you can check out all the color options and the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Suspenders are underutilized.
I know, hot take, right?
But in all seriousness, fat guys should be wearing suspenders more often. Not only do they look good, but when it comes to managing big bellies they typically do a much better job of keeping your pants in the right spot.
I’m guessing that part of the hesitation comes from general unfamiliarity with suspenders as an accessory. I hope that this quick review has helped up your suspender knowledge and now you’re ready to ditch the belt.
Even if you just wear your suspenders under your shirt, they’re still a great option.
What do you think? Are you going to make the suspender plunge?