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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sartorial Suspension

Albert Thurston's Advertisement
Suspenders (or Braces in your Majesty's Kingdom) reigned supreme for quite some time, they have been around for approximately 300 years.  However, its modern version did not come about until 1822 when Albert Thurston created it.  Back then in  the 19th and early 20th centuries the high cut of gentlemen's trousers made the use of belts rather impractical.  As World War I approached and men became accustomed to uniforms worn with belts, the popularity once enjoyed by suspenders would never see the light of day again.  A short revival occurred in the 1940s, but it quickly became clear that belts had won the battle of sartorial suspension.

WWI enthusiasts boasting authentic British Military Uniforms
I submit that from my online travels in the world of fashion, from flipping through many catalogs, and participating in online forums that suspenders are now in fact making a small come back to the forefront once more.  Nevertheless, it is doubtful that they will overtake the belt's popularity.  This is easily deduced from the fact that most pants do not come equipped with suspender buttons.  It is quite a shame since it does not offer the consumer the choice of going out belt-less either.  There is a work around that can turn anyone's pants into a 'dock' for suspenders.  Below are three necessary items in order to achieve the aforementioned:

1.  A pair of nice trousers/pants
2.  Suspender Buttons
3.  A tailor/alterations

Note:  One can avoid needing a tailor's hands to add buttons to their pants by using something along the lines of what they offer at Hank's Clothing.

Voila, this alone will enable one to have a nice suspender finally attached to their modern pair of pants.  Suspender buttons can be acquired at local shops that carry arts and crafts type of merchandise where seamstresses shop, and they may also be found online by doing a quick Google search.  Even though 'clip-on' suspenders exist that hook onto the pants, the preferred and most distinguished look would be to adhere to what has been the old and tried gentleman method.


The pros of suspenders are that they may create the appearance of being taller as they typically lengthen the legs and shorten the torso and make the torso seem a bit wider than normal from a purely aesthetic perspective.  Another thing would be that once worn, going back to a pair of pants with a belt may feel a bit constricting as your body all of a sudden became used to what seemed to be a more natural flow and less restrictive movement in the waist and overall in general.  One con is that wearing suspenders all day long may also cause one's shoulders to tire after sometime due to the consistent pressure applied, but since we are all manly men, this comment only concerns the wimps out there.  You can also choose to only wear suspenders for specific events, moments, and such to avoid the above.

The Modern look of a suspender is very eye-catching and it will definitely set one apart from the rest of the boring male crowd wearing the same old belt/pants/tucked in OCBD combination.  Suspenders are an essential part of a tuxedo in my opinion and can also be worn casually in many circumstances.  Just be careful not to end up looking like a young protege of Larry King, and instead try and strut around like a Gordon Gekko who isn't greedy for more money, but rather confident in his own appearance.

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