Braces, or suspenders in American English, get a bad rap these days.
Most guys imagine an old, and perhaps overweight, man when they think of braces. They think of the man's age because of the "old-fashioned" nature of the accessory, and the weight because of the functionality braces provide. While this imagery is common, there's a lot more to braces than these stereotypes portray.
First, let's correct the common misconception about their functionality. Yes, braces are used to keep trousers from falling down, but's it's more than that. Often times clients will ask, "if the trousers are cut to my body, why would I need wear braces?" The answer is, because of drape. Drape refers to the way fabric drapes on the body, and in the world of fine menswear and bespoke tailoring, it specifically means that the cloth hangs neatly and without any obstruction. Braces help provide good drape in the trousers because it holds up the trousers in place which results in the trouser cuff hanging exactly where it should on the top of the shoe.
The reality is that even when the trouser waist fits perfect, throughout the course of the day, trousers will tend to fall lower which will create a break in the pressed crease in the cloth. Admittedly, most guys prefer a half, or even a full break, which we simply attribute to the fact that guys like what they're used to, and that's usually something ill-fitting off-the-rack. However, for us at B&R, and for clients who desire a more timeless fit, braces accomplish this ideal of perfect drape.
In addition to understanding the functionality benefits of braces, there's another important reason that has allowed braces to stand the test of time and remain a timeless accessory to men's suiting. That reason is, style. There's a good reason Albert Thurston, our braces maker, makes his braces in a variety of colors and styles. Just as is shown in the pictures in this post, all it takes is for a jacket to be un-buttoned to reveal the braces that are worn. This gives the wearer a chance to wear a pair that compliments the rest of the outfit, both in design and color.
If you are considering adding them to your wardrobe but still aren't sure if they make sense for you, let us know by emailing us at email@example.com. We can talk about your fit and style preferences to see if wearing braces would be a good addition to your wardrobe.
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We love our products. Our focus on product development is at the very heart of who we are and what we do. It's for this reason that we've dedicated so much of our time to produce a number of our own product lines, including our own line of shoes, outerwear, and accessories.
When it came time for us to consider adding eyewear to our product mix, we decided to defer to another brand for their expertise.