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Suspenders and the Questions Concerning Them

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Socrets, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Socrets

    Socrets Familiar Face

    I have actually few questions about suspenders which I would deeply appreciate being answered. I'd like to know whether or not there are times when you do wear and when you don't. I'd also like to know if there are any special rules concerning matching or coordinating them in regards to your other clothes. And my final one, is there really any stigma attached to clip-on suspenders? I've been using a cheap pair for swing dancing but after a little investigation online, I sorta feel like the guy who realized that his fly has been unzipped the entire day and didn't notice anything until now. Oh and on a separate slightly related topic, any advice on what to wear for swing dancing? Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. As far as I understand it, button braces were more common in Golden Age times, but clip ons were certainly around. I'm sure there was a thread on here a few weeks ago wherein Baron Kurtz produced evidence that clip ons existed in the thirties.... if not, he's the man who would probably know who did....

    I prefer button on myself, but tbh I think a lot of the opposition to clip ons you see out there is snobbery as much as anything.... (not that I'm not guilty of snobbery - I come out in a rash at the very thought of pre-tied neckwear. lol) I've seen this extend to pretty much anything.... I even remember once a columnist writing about contemporary men's fashion and dismissing stick-backed cufflinks as inherently inferior to chain-linked ones. [huh]
  3. dostacos

    dostacos Practically Family

    I choose by braces to the color of the suit or sport coat/pants. I only use button. If you ever have a clip fail and catch the clip in the face or back of the head....:eek: I would be willing to bet that most here use button suspenders:)
  4. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano One of the Regulars

    Button only for me. I developed the button-only snobbery over 25 years ago and nothing has convinced me to soften my view.

    Generally I only wear them with suits. If I'm wearing a 3 piece suit, I only wear suspenders/braces because I don't like wearing a belt with a vest (my preference). With a 2 piece I will go either way.

    Typically I will coordinate the color in the braces (rather than "match") with the colors in my other components (suit, shirt, tie, etc.). Generally the leather portion should match shoe and belt color (black or brown), though this requires a fairly decent wardrobe of braces to pull off. I actually only have about 4 pair of braces right now because I don't wear them that much and one of those is a formal pair that I only wear with a tuxedo.

    Generally though, for me anyway, the color of my braces are not as important since few see them. I only wear them under my jacket or vest and typically don't take my jacket or vest off, except around family. It would be more important if you were wearing them with odd trousers and a shirt with no jacket. This looks fine on some people and is certainly appropriate in swing dancing, it's just not my look.
  5. I don't see "button only" as being snobbery. I have used clip on suspenders, and i have witnessed first hand the damage they do to fabric. Gripping the wool that tightly does not do it favours.

    As to when to wear them, I really dislike being constricted around the waist (i.e. wearing a belt). Therefore i oly wear suspenders these days.My trousers are generally a little roomy in the waist to allow them to hang from the shoulders, to paraphrase (or quote, maybe? I don't recall) Wilde.

    A pair of button-on suspenders with a properly placed set of buttons cannot, in my opinion, be beat.


    I do admit, though, that a skinny brown belt with a pair of ecru linen trousers in summer (jacketless) is so visually appealing - I am slim waisted - that my aesthetic vanity overcomes my discomfort and i wear the belt.
  6. They did exist. That thread was more than a couple of weeks ago though (i ain't been to active lately). More like a year or so. I've completely forgotten my source for that information. Probably Apparel Arts, though . . . perhaps Esquire's Encyclopaedia.

    Clip on bow ties, though, are a very different phenomenon. Extremely common in the 1930s. They were marketed as a "new invention", "modern", "with it", "hip". Anything to keep men wearing ties - which all good indicators were showing was in severe decline in the 1930s. Especially amongst the younger sets. AA had an article which i have here somewhere that was about hatlessness, but touched on tielessness too. It was basically suggesting that the phenomenon if hat/tie-lessness was some kind of communist-inspired idea. An intensely interesting article, though a lmassive stretch of the imagination. Methinks Stalin 'n Co., Ltd. had a little more on their minds in 1933.


    by the way, Edward, i should have shown you and Paddy the one AA issue i own. I think you'd find it more than a little bit interesting.
  7. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano One of the Regulars

    Perhaps we could revive ties and hats today with a "you're either with us or with the terrorists" arguement. Afterall, who's ever seen a terrorist in a fedora, tie and well-tailored suit? Just a thought.
  8. Two terrorists walk into a Brooks Bros outlet to buy some new suits. One tries on a suit and asks his companion, "Hey, does my bomb look big in these pants?" lol
  9. Rooster

    Rooster Practically Family

    lol lol :eusa_clap
  10. To clarify.... I didn't mean to imply that in every case it's snobbery.... it's just something I've encountered sometimes. I prefer buttons aesthetically myself - wear and tear with clip ons, and the seemingly higher likelihood of failer appear to be good practical reasons to favour buttons....

    I know exactly what you mean re comfort.... I'm happy enough in a belt most of the time (I do envy you your narrow waist), but when it comes to keeping a suit looking sharp, braces and a slightly looser waist are definitely the way I want to go from hereon. The big bonus I've found is that the shirt doesn't balloon out over the waist the way it does on me with a belt. big bonus - I'm pot-bellied enough without exaggerating that area!

    Wow, as early as that.... another coffin nail in the idea that Kennedy killed the hat!

    That sounds hysterical! Reminds me of the scene in Crybaby where (forget the character's name)'s fundamentalist parents are preaching to the "ungodly" drape kids and refer to their rockabilly clothes and leather jackets as "clothes obviously designed by a homosexual." lol

    Another time, maybe - I owe you guys dinner. :)

    Absolutely. Al Capone, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, Mad Frankie Fraser.... all fine, upstanding citizens. :p
  11. Socrets

    Socrets Familiar Face

    Awesome. Thanks for the suspender advice, guys. I really appreciate it.
  12. I recently received a set of 46" Long button suspenders that I really like. The problem is, they are about 2-3" too short for me. There is no "let out" in them but I was wondering if a longer yoke shaped attachment could be used to replace the one at the back of the waist to gain those all-important (to me)few inches?

    The suspender store stocks them but not in variable lengths...(They call them "moustaches")

    I'm not much of a crafts person but I can't believe this hasn't been done before. I don't think it would spoil the look too much either (Opinions?).

    Are the "attachments" available in longer lengths or does anyone have another suggestion? These are not Trafalgar Braces so we're not talking heirloom clothing, just would like a reasonable fix besides giving them away and buying another set.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  13. carldelo

    carldelo One Too Many

    Consider these braces offered by Old Woogies: http://www.oldwoogies.com/store.htm


    I really like this unusual method of button attachment, it seems very low profile. It looks like something you might be able to replicate yourself, in place of the leather connector in the back of your braces.

    An alternative would be to replace the existing leather strap in the back with a length of nylon webbing with buttonholes put in the ends (by a tailor, I guess). The danger to both is that the Y-yoke may wind up too close to your collar, making the straps appear too close together in the front.
  14. Hmmm, I like that...I think even someone "All Thumbs" like me could jury rig something like that.

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