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    Braces (suspenders)



    Guys - looking for some pointers here. I'm interested in picking up a pair of nice (and hopefully affordable) braces. I'd like to begin wearing them on the rare occasions that I suit up, and ideally, I'd like a pair (or two) that would work with a wide range of colors. I would also be taking some suit pants to a tailor to have brace buttons added.


    I know of the brand Trafalgar (embarrassed, but I know this only from watching Frasier...) but am hoping someone knows of a cheaper option. And no, suspenders with the metal clips will not work for me.


    Also, what are your thoughts on braces? Stylish and adult, or tacky and for the elderly?


    #2


    I've actually been thinking of doing the same thing so I look forward to hearing feedback from others.

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      #3


      I say they're awesome if you're reasonably slim. I feel like a black or navy would work with most suits, and you could also pick up a more fun color if you want.

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        #4


        I wear them when I wear a tux. I've had a bunch of compliments on doing it I (I was the only one with suspenders back at prom, and also the only one who went entirely with black and white instead of a colored tie, shirt, cummerbund, etc.). I like the look, so I will still continue to wear them often, though not always.


        Bond went with white here:



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          #5


          I'm fairly certain i'm going to purchase off of ebay. Trafalgar still seem a little high, so I'm leaning more towards Brooks Brothers or Polo Ralph Lauren. Are there other brands I should be looking for?


          Also, I'm leaning towards navy and wine colors for use with Grey and Navy suits, and white for use with my black suit.

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            #6


            Albert Thurston makes the finest braces anywhere. http://www.bownsbespoke.com/albertthurston.htm


            ^ nice write-up there.


            They can be had for reasonable prices on e-bay, but are still likely to be the most expensive brand.

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              #7


              @Kenneth - That explains Bond wearing them, I suppose.

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                #8


                @JEH @thinker_random - I'm also considering the switch to braces/suspenders. I will have to start wearing a fair number of suits, and would like to pick some sort of distinctive style accent. Going with bow ties would make me feel like Tucker Carlson, while braces/suspenders are just understated enough.

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                  #9


                  Suspenders are in the same category as bowties, in my mind. Difficult to pull off well, and they tend to look pretty schticky if you can't (See: Tucker Carlson and bowties). Outside of formalwear, suspenders strike me as something of a meaningless trend for the sake of being trendy. That's just my $.02.


                  So, good on you if you can own the look, but know that it's a rather precarious path you tread.

                  Ben

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                    #10


                    @BenR - I don't care for them outside of formalwear either. As you said, its like bow ties or fedoras.

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                      #11


                      Bow ties and fedoras are supposed to be seen, correct? Most oldschool guys seem to argue that suspenders are like 'underwear' and aren't really supposed to be seen. To that end they also seem to advocate subdued colors, matched to suits/pants.


                      Are they really a 'look' if you don't treat them as such?

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                        #12


                        @Lib - Well if I can see you, you have some sort of look about you. In combination with the clothing you choose, you have another element of a look. If you are the guy who works at Urban Outfitters wearing a fedora, suspenders, and bowties, it would seem pretty clear that you are using uncommon pieces to create a look that you might see on a certain type of individual outside the most mainstream stereotypes, but likely still within another line of stereotypes.


                        I can see, so everyone has looks.

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                          #13


                          My thoughts: I'd be wearing with a suit, always. When I wear my suit, occasionally I'll take off my jacket, and at those times, I think an accessory like braces might look good. Seems to me that a lot of the comments/rules on here are over thinking.

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                            #14
                            Personally, I am a huge fan of suspenders and experienced in their use. Firstly, you're doing right by avoiding clip. They're tacky and awful. Secondly, I would suggest against wearing them stand alone. I would always wear them under a jacket or vest. Not necessarily just a three piece like days of old but I would wear them casually over just a shirt. Next, I would ass some contrast. Buy some suspenders with a bit of colour of pattern to them. Keep it subdued but there's no need to be boring. As a note to wearing them, suspenders have historically been a man's only option to hold up his pants for a reason. They're better. You'll notice how much more comfortable you are in them. You won't have to constantly be hikin up your pants. Also, you'll be able to, and should get your pants taken out a bit. You'll want to be able to fit about two or three fingers in you waistband. This is because the buttons and the attachments will go on the inside and also because they're more comfortable and look better that way. Pants that are right in the waist only came about because having lose pants cinched around you waist looks odd. Pants slightly larger when worn with braces hangs better on your body and makes your legs look longer because there will be no belt breaking up the line of your body. So there's a reason for short guys to wear them. Furthermore; suspended should optimally be work with higher rise pants as was traditionally intended. It just looks odd to have suspenders stretch all the way down to a pair of pants sitting on you hips. Lastly, as a note to buying. There are many affordable deals to be had. Scour eBay for them. You're better off buying vintage becaus they'll be cheaper and of higher quality. One brand I like is Pelican. Vintage Pelican suspenders are of goo quality and reasonable prices. Although Trafalgar, Brokks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and several other makers will also be of supremely high quality. However; what you want to look for in any braces is a construction where the main part of the brace is not elastic an only the single back strap is elastic. The solid portion should be made of silk or grosgrain or any other high quality material. Finally, the connection shoul always be genuine leather. Fake leather will leak dye onto you clothes with wear and will look worse. Stick with real leather, either black or brown, and you'll be fine. Just like buying shoes. I hope I was able to help you and good luck with your suspended journey.

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                              #15
                              IMO suspenders are lame and dorky. I wore them once when I was young because I wanted to be different. They are costumey, and I dont see how they are better than a belt. They are a pain in the ass to fiddle with when having to go the bathroom or retuck a shirt. Ill leave the suspenders to the Bob Beckels of the world. Just my 2cents. I also agree with Lesserblackdogs sentiments on page 1.

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