A Brief History of Suspenders – An Introductory Guide To Wearing Suspenders
To this day, suspenders remain the preferred method to hold up a pair of trousers by many fine dressers.
A little quiz for you guys…
Q1: Which of these accessories do you think was invented first – (A) BELT (B) SUSPENDERS
If you choose “BELT” …Splendid!!!
I… must say you tried….but you are absolutely INCORRECT. 🙂
Well, forgive me if I suck at mimicking Frank Edoho or Chris Tarrant of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” TV show, I’ll have to practice more. But seriously YOU ARE WRONG, Suspenders came first before Belts !!! Got it?
Alright second question…you ready?
Q2: Right from the very first time men chose to wear trousers, how did they hold it firmly to their waist since there were no belts at that time?
I’m sure you would have guessed this one correctly, they held their trousers firmly using SUSPENDERS. Now, don’t get me wrong…Suspenders worn at that time didn’t come close to the stylish colorful ones we have these days. They were usually just straps of thick leather that fell directly over the shoulders, fastened to the waistband of their trousers by means of a hook. See image below.
A little bit of history for you below…Please read.
The first suspenders (which are called Braces in the United Kingdom) can be traced to 18th century France, where they were basically strips of ribbon attached to the buttonholes of trousers. In the early 1820s, British designer Albert Thurston began to manufacture the first known modern day suspenders (known as “braces” in Britain). The fashion of the day dictated that men wear high-waisted pants. It wasn’t until World War 1 (between 1914 and 1918) that Suspenders started losing popularity as men became accustomed to Belts.
In modern times, men started wearing belts in the 1920s, as trouser waists fell to a lower line. Before the 1920s, belts served mostly a decorative purpose, and were associated with the military. Moreover, prior to that trousers did not even have belt loops. Sadly, as at 1938, 60% of American men chose BELTS over SUSPENDERS. Today it is common for men to wear a belt with their trousers.
Well, gentlemen, the good news is…
Suspenders are back! This time around, they are here to stay. They’re one of the very few men’s accessories used to judge a true gentleman, such that only the bold, stylish and suave gents in our planet can actually pull it off nicely.
And these few who do rock them are the envy of the many who don’t.
Today, suspenders is considered the mark of any well- dressed gentleman. They are no longer just for professional men, they are a timeless wardrobe essential that can be worn by any man and sometimes stylish ladies. They come in different sizes, shapes, materials, colors etc.
A lot of us men love this nice accessory, however, the challenge is usually not knowing how to wear them. So this post is to inspire you to start buying and wearing suspenders. When you get your first one, you can follow this HOW-TO Guide on Wearing Suspenders below and ensure you fasten it correctly.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR SUSPENDERS
When dressing, first attach the suspenders in the back, then put your trousers on, and finish by attaching the suspenders in the front.
Suspenders can be worn with any outfit – casual to formal, semi-casual styles to jeans and with suits and tuxedos
Choose wider suspenders for broad shoulders and chests, and narrower ones for all others.
Suspenders can be worn with either necktie or bow ties.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Rules For Wearing Suspenders. Number 1 is a Must!
Whether you are that fashion conscious guy who wants to make a shift from belts to suspenders, or a professional who is tired of wearing only belts and wants to make a switch or you are that large guys who finds it uncomfortable wearing belts and you usually find your trousers falling down below your waist each time you wear belts, I believe this article is really for you. Now go forth and join the league of true gentlemen who rock suspenders! While you are at it, don’t forget the rules you must consider when wearing men’s suspenders.
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Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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