Also known as braces, suspenders are somewhat of a rarity in modern society. Needless to say, belts have become a far more convenient item for men to put on at six o’clock in the morning; but that’s not to say that suspenders don’t have their place in the fashionable male’s wardrobe.
What follows is a short A-Z on getting to know your braces. As always, please feel free to leave a comment below. So let’s get started with the most obvious of questions you’re likely to ask…
So, what exactly are braces / suspenders?
They’re long fabric straps worn over your shoulders to hold up your trousers. They usually attach to your legwear with either clips or buttons, often featuring a criss-crossing ‘X’ or ‘Y’ shape at the rear for added strength and support.
When were they invented?
It seems that many variations have existed in the past three hundred years, although the modern suspenders that men know and love today were first created by Albert Thurston in 1822; they were a smash hit with the Seventeenth century dandies as their high cut trousers made belt wearing completely unrealistic.
Are there any famous Brace wearers?
There’s Daniel “James Bond” Craig of course, not to mention various US presenters and sports casters including Larry King. Perhaps most iconic of all, however, are the pair sported by Michael Douglas in the film ‘Wall Street’.
What are the rules?
As always, you need to keep things simple in the beginning. If you’d like to experiment with suspenders, I’d recommend grabbing a pair in a neutral colour, particularly charcoal or navy – the two shades guaranteed to go with pretty much everything you have in your closet.
Secondly, just as with your ties avoid falling into the trap of skinny or wide and instead start off with regular width braces. Unless you’re particularly thin or athletic, a regular fit will no doubt suit you the best.
Lastly, remember that it’s suspenders OR belt and never both. In the distant past it was acceptable to wear them together, but nowadays it’s seen as a definite no-no.
Oh, and as always, stay way from the novelty designs… You know why…