Is It Possible To Wear Suspenders Instead Of A Gun Belt?

Some people may find a gun belt uncomfortable on occasion - even if made from supple, premium leather - and wonder if perhaps suspenders would be viable alternative. After all, if a pair of suspenders can keep a pair of pants with a holster and pistol held up without the discomfort that some feel with a heavy gun belt, why not?

Is it possible?

It actually is! However, the reason why people wear a gun belt to hold up a carry gun is that they work. That's the reason why gun belts are a thing.

Some People Already Wear A Gun Belt And Suspenders

Military style belt and suspendersBelieve it or not, there's already a practice among some people who concealed carry to wear a gun belt and suspenders. The idea is to reinforce a belt that still slips a bit when wearing a pistol, keeping one's trousers held up without any slippage at all.

In fact, there is a specific brand associated with this exact practice (Perry's, available in many WalMart stores) due to the belt clip design, which is able to be threaded over a belt. However, there are a few other brands out there with similar belt clip designs.

Makes sense, right? Reinforce the belt further and never worry about the belt slipping down a bit and taking the pants with them.

Except that doing so means you're doing it wrong.

Better To Get Enough Gun Belt

It's one thing to use suspenders INSTEAD of a gun belt, but if you're using both it means that you aren't using enough gun belt. While a bit of slippage is inevitable, a belt should give enough support to not have to worry about it. If you have to worry about it, you didn't buy a strong enough gun belt.

Instead of trying to bolster an inadequate gunbelt with suspenders, you should either use suspenders or a gunbelt that IS adequate to begin with. After all, your car should come with a spare tire...but keeping a spare transmission in the trunk means you need to get it fixed or buy one that works. you want to be THAT guy who wears a belt and suspenders?

When Suspenders Can Work Instead Of A Gun Belt

It's actually not too complicated how suspenders could work - if said suspenders can hold up one's pants with a holster and pistol ostensibly carried inside the waistband, then there's no real problem. Right? Ostensibly, sure! But there are a few things to look for if considering making the switch.Alligator suspender clips

First is how the suspenders attach. Most use alligator clips, which can give good hold provided quality construction. However, the problem there is that the clips have to be strong enough to overcome not only gravity and your pants, but a holster and a pistol (maybe even a few spare magazines!) as well.

Gravity is going to eventually win.

Instead, look for the "y" loop suspenders with leather straps, as these will provide the kind of hold you need. However, you'll need a set of tack buttons in order to use them.

Wait, what? Tack buttons?!

Tack buttons are a two-piece button that attaches to clothing without sewing. Look at a pair of jeans - the waist button is a tack button. One side is a tack, the other is the button. Lay said piece of clothing - such as jeans, other pants, a shirt, what have you - on a flat surface, with the tack on the inside and the button on the outside. Align them, then hit the button with a hammer or clamp them together with a stout pair of pliers, seating the tack in the shaft of the button.

Bigfoot says flip it over!
a tack button for suspenders
Bigfoot says flip it over!
assortment of tack buttons

For suspenders, you'll need to install up to 6 of them on the waistband. The suspender tabs slip over the button and hold up your trousers, holster and gun. Provided your suspenders are of stout enough construction, and the cinch doesn't allow slippage, they'll work.

However, it's recommended you buy a stout pair of suspenders, such as those meant for work purposes, to do so. Look at those with a 2-inch width, as less than that may not be sufficient material to hold.

Another question to consider is whether you wear said suspenders over your shirt or under it. It would be weird to wear a shirt over suspenders, to be sure, but so long as your shirt covers the belt line, they'll be undetectable. As will your pistol be.

So yes - suspenders can work, if stout enough to hold up your gun.

Still looking for more tips & tricks for your daily carry? Bigfoot's got you covered:

Sam Hoober 

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.