Should You Be Wearing Braces (Suspenders)?
There are a few ways to wear your trousers and how to keep them in place. Braces, or suspenders, are an excellent way to go if you want to wear a mid or high waisted trouser. If you have worked with us in person, you may know that we prefer a mid to high waist, but let's cover why you might want to wear your trousers this way and why suspenders might be a good option for you.
Wearing your trousers a bit higher than the average low rise can balance your look or make you look taller based on your needs. If you are on the shorter end and want to elongate your legs, increasing your visual height, a high waist will accomplish that. The worst thing you can do as a man with shorter legs is to wear a low rise trouser, which will make your legs look even shorter. If you are taller or are happy with your height wearing a mid-rise trouser, midway between the low rise line and your belly button, will give your appearance more excellent balance. Wearing your trousers either way can even elevate your silhouette by bringing focus to the best parts of your build.
Braces are a great way to go with either of these rises. They hold your trousers in place as well as add a sartorial detail that can become part of your signature look. A belt may also work if you wish, but the braces are far superior in several ways. First, if you are wearing a higher rise, they will significantly decrease how often you have to re-adjusting your pants. This is a common issue with those who wear a longer rise. Second, braces give your trousers better drape. When you wear braces, your pants can be cut just a little bit more roomy to keep them off your body just enough to have a clean line. Adding a cuff to the trousers also accomplishes this, but is an undesirable look for some, so this is a great alternative and of benefit with a higher rise. Third, wearing braces will limit creasing in the hip area. This effect is related to both the last point of being cut slightly more substantially as well as being a benefit of a higher rise. Having your waistband in the crease of your hip when you sit causes significantly more wrinkles when compared to only fabric being in that crease.
Once you have decided to wear braces, you may wonder how to best style them. Having similar characteristics to both ties and belts, braces can be a bit more difficult to figure out. Here are a couple of simple rules and a suggestion to keep you on the right path.
1) If your braces have leather match your shoes. Like a leather belt, the leather straps on braces should be coordinated with your shoes. You can get away with less coordination as braces are less visible, but nailing this will ensure a put-together look.
2) Coordinate the colors and fabrics as you would a tie. If you are already wearing a tie, think of your braces like a second tie. Do the colors match or complement each other? If so you are on the right track, if not try another combination. The beauty here is you can make a mistake without it being too apparent and ultimately, style is personal preference regardless of the 'rules.'
Tip) You can match your suspender fabric to your suit fabric. This provides a very uniform and elegant look.
Where to Start?A great place to start is a pair of navy and a pair of burgundy braces. Much like a navy or burgundy tie, these can be worn with a vast array of colors and combinations. This also gives you a few options to try and see how you like to style them and what color you need to add to fill the holes you have in your closet.
Braces are a great addition to any gentleman's look. Here at Chalk Mark, we thoroughly enjoy braces and recommend them to many of our clients. If you are looking to balance your look, add interesting detail, or simply like the utility of them, braces are a must.