Suspenders, or braces as they call them across the pond, are making a serious comeback, but this time they are coming back with a difference. Whilst once they were an understated and functional accessory solely entrusted with the simple if important task of keeping one’s pants up, today they make a much bolder statement entirely. Whether worn casually with jeans or everyday attire or as an item of formal dress, they bring out the shirt and the man inside it in a completely new and different way. At the same time, the flair they exude ensures that they are not in any way subordinate, but rather they stand proud as an integral feature of the look that you present to the world.
Appearance, Size and Pattern
Because it is all about coordination, it is important that the right look is achieved for the right occasion. Just as we would all take care to ensure that our shirt matches our jacket and our pants, so to suspenders need to be chosen which are “on message”. However simple an item of clothing they may be they nevertheless should announce the mood and the intentions of the wearer.
Broadly speaking suspenders come in X-back or Y-back designs, which respectively are pretty much eponymous to the look. Whilst the former is the more traditional model it is the latter which is definitely more up-to-date. Or to put it another way, Y-back demonstrates that you are more up with the times whilst X-back probably better serves the objective of keeping your trousers off the floor – which is only really needed if the pants you are wearing mean that is a particular issue.
Equally important is the width of the straps. Because of their shape and design, it can be quite surprising how much difference an extra half-inch can make to the overall appearance, and to the sentiment that is projected. As a general rule, narrow suspenders tend to be viewed as more appropriate to casual dress whilst a broader and thicker design is more often seen accompanying formal wear, for business or special occasions.
Creating the Vibe
Suspender straps may be buttoned or clipped on. If buttoned this requires some synchronicity with the waistband of the trousers. Lastly, colour and pattern obviously have a huge bearing on the vibe that will be created. A printed design will have fairly much the same impact as a decorative tie, drawing attention towards it from the clothing around. The tone of the suspender will go a long way towards helping to correctly interpret the mood.
Whatever specification is preferred, the capacity a well-chosen set has for bringing out the inner you should never be underestimated. When carefully selected they look good, feel comfortable and speak to the onlooker about what and who you are. Whether it is an occasion for jeans and the casual look or for suited and booted, choose your suspenders thoughtfully and never be afraid of putting on the style.