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Tag >> Braces
In the mid 1980s there was a huge resurgence in popularity for trouser braces, as portrayed by the character of Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, and taken on board by those working in the financial centres of the world.
They exemplified power and authority, but could also really brighten up a formal suit. Modern braces (or suspenders in the U.S.A.) were invented in 1822 by Albert Thurston and were once universally worn, due to the high cut of late 19th and early 20th century trousers.
But in the 1930s as waistcoats, which hid the braces, became less worn, their popularity started to wane. These days, braces for trousers are being seen less and less, having been replaced in popularity by the convenience of a belt. However, for a trouser to hang properly, braces are essential.
Without support from braces at the front of the waistband, the crease in the trouser does not stay taut and the trouser bottoms do not sit properly, bunching up on the instep of the shoe.
And for those who take their jackets off to drive, make sure you ask your tailor for buttons inside the waistband at the back. It really does spare the leather in your Roller!
If you would like to design your own trousers with brace buttons, click here.
We're looking forward to the release of Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, featuring a plethora of suits and sartorial delights. We're sure it heralds a trend in tailoring, so get designing your own!.
Let's take a peek back at Gordon Gekko, the Braces-loving financial prowler who looked so sleek in Oliver Stone's original 1987 filmWall Street. Michael Douglas played Gekko with Clark Gable-esque elegance and a wardrobe of opulence: hair slicked back, braces supporting his trousers, striped shirts with white collars and suits of the finest fabric.
It was a new look for men back then - the Wall Street look. Gordon Gekko introduced the power suit, which has become the archetype in men's fashion, said Josh Peskowitz, style editor for Esquire.com. Flash forward to today. Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps opens with an older, wiser yet still best-dressed Gekko.
This time around his style has a more demure incarnation. It's a reflection of hard times, market crashes and economic crises. When it comes to fashion, today's Wall Street is less about drawing attention and more about instilling trust. In the movie, Gekko's wardrobe transitions from his 1980s shiny suits to modern styles that are cut leaner to the body and come in more subdued fabrics. Gekko shows his flair today in the form of single and double breasted waistcoats making up three piece suits and his longish hair. You have to be meticulous when it comes to tailoring and fit to emulate his style.
You don't dress to show your wealth. You dress because you take yourself seriously and want your clients to take you seriously, said Nicholas Kim, chairman of Wall Street investment bank N. Hahn Co.
Get the Wall Street look here
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I recently received my first braced suit. That is, one designed to be worn with braces, featuring a high waist and fish-tail back.
When I first wore the suit it seemed that the front two pairs of buttons were a little too far round to the side. They were more on my hip than under my stomach, with the consequence that the braces felt like they would fall off my shoulder constantly.
But then I've never worn braces before, so I didn't know whether that was normal. After a day viewing collections, and so trying on quite a few suits, I decided something had to be wrong. Every time I took off my jacket one or the other of the braces would slip off and have to be re-hung. Not exactly elegant.
Returning to my tailor, he explained that there were two standard settings for the buttons position. One, most often used in the military, is to have the rear of the two buttons sitting on the side seam of the trousers. This ensures that seam, often decorated on military dress trousers and so a point of focus, stays taut and straight.
The second is to have the foremost of the two buttons sitting on the crease in the front of the trousers, keeping that taut at the slight expense of the side seam. This is required on pleated trousers, where the way that the pleats hang is key. On flat-fronted trousers it matters less, especially as few men these days bother to maintain the crease.
On both options the distance between the buttons in a pair is the same. And as it is the rear button that sits on the side seam in one option and the front button that secures the pleat in the other, the difference between the two positions is not great. But it is noticeable.
The other advantage of the first position is that the braces cannot be seen when a man's jacket is open. Unless he has his hands in his pockets and pushes the foreparts way back, the braces remain hidden. It was for this reason that my tailor went with the first position, as I had never worn braces before and seemed a little self-conscious about it.
He forgot to ask me what I preferred, though, or to take into account my sloping shoulders. The latter means my braces need a little more purchase than the average man.
So the buttons were moved. And now I know the next time I order a braced suit.
[Pictured, the braces in question, from Drake's.]
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