Friday 16 September 2022

September Fashion Friday

 As the Autumn begins I thought a simple discussion of suspenders (braces for you Brits) might be of interest.

Specifically the debate about clip-on or button fastened ones. This debate has raged in re-enactor circles quite a bit.


The Victorian Society of Alberta

Clip-On vs. Button-Hole Suspenders Is it okay to wear clip-on suspenders?

 From the Gentlemanual

 Are clip-on suspenders hopelessly tacky? If a man is going to wear suspenders, should he stick exclusively to suspenders with button-hole tabs? These are good questions, and they deserve good answers.

Clip-Ons Aren’t Traditional… Or Are They?

Clip-on suspenders have been around since 1894, and the argument “One shouldn’t wear clip-on suspenders because they’re not traditional” is difficult to sustain. With over a century’s worth of history, they’re as classic as any “classic” could be. Scroll through collections of old photos and you’ll see clip-on suspenders in abundance, from the Millennials of 1900 to the ruffians of original punk rock. Heritage isn’t the issue. The real problem with clip-ons these days is two-fold.

First, many of the big stores that sell everything from fertilizer to frozen french fries sell clip-on suspenders in their menswear departments. Marketplace ubiquity, affordability, and ease of use are the main virtues of mass-produced clip-on suspenders, most of which are made of semi-elasticated material. It is precisely this wide-distribution of low price clip-ons which gives rise to concerns about their street-cred.

When belts (and buckles) returned to the forefront of fashion, clip-on suspenders continued to appeal chiefly to three sorts of men: those who were accustomed to suspenders but never got on board with button-fastened ones; those who didn’t give a damn about actively presenting “a look;” and those whose style-sense tended to be at odds with trending notions of what counted as fashionable. Today the situation is a little dire. To put it bluntly, too many men wear clip-on suspenders with get-ups that make fashion police wish they were packing more than disapproving grimaces.

Clip-on Suspenders are old-school. That’s not the problem.

And that’s the second issue: all clip-on suspenders suffer a bit from guilt-by-association. It’s unfair, perhaps, but that’s just how it is, and a man wearing clip-on suspenders risks finding himself in the same situation as the man who wears a clip-on bow tie: if you’re going to wear a bow tie (argues the purist), you should take the time and make the effort to learn how to tie one; and if you’re going to wear suspenders, accept the extra expense and hassle involved with adding buttons to the inside of the waistband of your trousers and wear button-tab suspenders. This is one school of thought.

 Continued at this link 


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