Thursday, May 10, 2012

Suspenders or Braces... which do you prefer?

I tried to find a definitive online, but unfortunately it is a matter of taste and geography.

  1. Suspenders

    • In America, suspenders usually refer to the fabric or leather straps with a drop clip end that attaches to a pair of pants. Sometimes in British English, however, suspenders refer to what Americans call garter belts, which are used to hold up stockings.


    • According to some American companies, braces usually refer to the leather or cloth strips with button ends that attach to pants. For the British, however, braces refer to all suspenders.


    • Usually there is no distinction between braces and suspenders except for a few select retailers. Most companies just recognize them as ways that two different countries refer to cloth or leather strips that are worn over your shoulders and hold up your pants.

Personally, I prefer "braces"... it has a more sophisticated ring to it- and since I love all things British I guess that just makes sense.

A few words of advice: NEVER----EVER wear "suspenders" that clip on!  Equally tacky- all elastic fabrications.  Neither are ever elegant....unless the look you are going for is the chic "redneck farmer couture", LOL.  The button loops should always be a high quality leather too.. NO plastic!

Also note that if the braces you chose have grosgrain or thread loops, those are intended to be worn with formal attire and should not be donned for daily dressing- as almost all tuxedo pants do not have belt loops.  This is the only reason to have a pair like this in your wardrobe.

When in doubt as far as which pattern to wear with a tie, etc.  I suggest choosing a nice braided leather.  Chestnut or black is a safe bet.  If opting for fabric, again make sure it is of the highest quality- silk or nylon ribbon will stand the test of time.  

A few labels that I have in my wardrobe have lasted forever.                

Trust in:  Trafalgar  Brooks Brothers  J. Crew  Cole Haan  Ralph Lauren,  even Dockers makes a fairly good set of braces

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