Remember the days of yore? Before getting style tips from Pinterest, when wearing a hat that wasn’t a snapback was compulsory, and every man wore braces. No, not the metal things that the dentist put in your mouth, ruining photos from your teenage years. We’re talking about trouser braces; the subject of this week’s There’s Something Missing From Your Suit.
What are they exactly? They are straps worn over the shirt to hold up trousers. Made of fabric, they are adjustable and attach to the trouser with clips or have button holes (depending on the trouser). As with most things, they were hugely popular in the past, but as trends changed and we moved toward a more casual approach to dressing up, they went the way of the cassette and the VCR and were confined to the annals of fashion history.
However, fashion (unlike technology) has the habit of dusting off something old, altering it slightly, and reintroducing it into the market. Braces have slowly been making their way back into the mainstream, and now can be seen on everyone from Hipsters to Olly Murs. The highstreet has embraced this, by providing braces in many colours and patters, and a choice of widths.
Before donning a pair of braces, think about the rest of your outfit. If you are attending a formal occasion, stick with block coloured braces that match to compliment the rest of your suit. However, if you’re simply wearing trousers and a shirt, you can afford to be adventurous and experiment with different patters. A word of warning: think about the size of your frame when purchasing braces. If you’re wide and you buy skinny braces, they will look like dental floss hanging over your shoulders. If you are naturally skinny, normal width braces may look like you are being restrained by seat belts.
By Nathan Agyekum