Do you wear Braces?

Locked
mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Do you wear Braces?

Post by mourningstar » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:30 pm

Clothes should hang from the shoulder, not the waist. I think Oscar Wilde said it first. But I am happy to repeat a greater man’s words. We are talking, of course, about a chap’s trousers. The frequency with which one must avert one’s gaze from a fellow’s attire because of the crumpled mess around his shoes is increasing. He might be otherwise well-dressed – decent suit, properly cut shirt, handsome tie, fine shoes – yet the hang of his trousers lets him down. Clearly, he has yet to learn the Golden Rule of the Wardrobe: a gentleman must wear braces.

Only with this essential item of equipment can the all-important meeting of shoe and trouser-end be controlled to perfection. Too short and the effect is comical; too long (the usual fault nowadays) and the appearance is slovenly. With a straight back, the trousers should hang with the crease clearly defined; at the shoe the trouser-end should rest on the front of the shoe with a pleasing indentation in the trouser-leg just above. How far the back of the trouser-end should hang down the back of the shoe is a matter of individual preference. Personally, I do not care to have it closer than 2 inches to the pavement.



So what sort of braces to buy? Not those which clip on to the trousers. These are vile, vulgar things. They not only damage the fabric into which they bite for their grip: they also indicate that the wearer’s trousers are without buttons for braces – a sartorial solecism of the highest order. The braces, then, must button onto the trousers – indeed, bespoke trousers should be made with backs for the purpose – in the form of the letter M, of a higher or flatter form according to the house style of the tailor. (The positioning of such buttons also requires thought. I stipulate that they should be on the outside of the trousers at the front, but on the inside at the back – so that when I drive the Royce without my jacket they will not make impressions in the leather. It is surprising how difficult it is to make tailors follow this simple instruction.)



All my braces have been made by the ancient firm of Albert Thurston Limited. (To avoid the necessity of constant readjustment, I find it convenient to have a separate pair of braces for each pair of trousers.) Founded in 1820, its shop in Panton Street – near Leicester Square in London – was adorned by a mounted stag’s head. The shop has long gone – although the taxidermist’s work remains in the form of the firm’s emblem – and the business has removed to the Midlands. So it is Leicester which is now the home of the splendid braces which support many of the most important trousers throughout the world. Often the braces will bear the name of the retail outfitter, but they will have been made by Albert Thurston Limited.



I thought they were made of felt. But I was wrong. Richard Kew, the current managing director of Albert Thurston Limited, put me right. The material is box cloth – so named because it was used for the great coats of those who travelled sitting on the boxes on top of mail coaches. It is thick woollen material, shrunk to half its size – to increase both its tightness and its resistance to fraying when cut. You might also have encountered it as the covering of your billiards table.

wear only red braces. But, if your preference is for the discreet, they are also supplied in shades of blue, purple and pink. (Pink? Let me delete that reference to discreet.) I used to cut them to suit the trouser length, but now I rather like the red streaks running down over my waist so I leave them unmolested.



The leather fastenings are made of goatskin and those at the front (the “runner ends”) are constructed so that they will adjust slightly with the body’s movements. I like them in brown or black, but white is also available.



So far – remarkably – I have managed to wear out only one pair. (The caustic might regard this as more a comment on the number of my suits than on the longevity of the braces, but let such nonsense pass.) They are still wearable (just), but the elastic fork at the rear has shrivelled and the appearance is no longer acceptable. Prices in England for the straightforward, classic design will be £35 to £50, depending on the shop you patronize. I find the lowest prices at T.M. Lewin in Jermyn Street. Braces with designs upon them – of animals and cartoon figures – can cost around £100 a pair. They are most definitely not my tasse de thé.



But the plain red ones assuredly are. In fact, I will not be seen out without them. A gentleman’s trousers need braces. And those braces must be made by Albert Thurston Limited. Clothes should hang from the shoulder, not the waist.
Albert Thurston Limited

3 Frog Island, Leicester LE3 5AG, England.

Telephone +44 (0)116 2627515

Fax +44 (0)116 2513607

www.albertthurston.com
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:33 pm

My dad just got me an Albert Thurston's.. :D :D .. (3 pairs) (white,black,red)
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

RebLem
Posts: 8979
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:53 pm

I usually wear sweatpants with drawstrings. Jeans with a belt is dress-up for me. Sweatpants and suspenders (what we call them in the US; braces are things an orthodonist puts on your teeth to straighten them) don't go together.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26326
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:49 pm

RebLem wrote:suspenders (what we call them in the US; braces are things an orthodonist puts on your teeth to straighten them)
Thanks, Reb. I read pretty fast, but I was slightly confused. :D

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:00 pm

Belts are fine for me. I'd look ridiculous teaching a class with suspenders holding up my blue or black jeans.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

BWV 1080
Posts: 4451
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:05 pm

Post by BWV 1080 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:52 pm

In the US suspenders seem to have gone the way of the three-piece suit. I have not seen anyone wear them in years

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26326
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:14 pm

My illness from several years ago, a horrible hepatitis, produced a condition called ascites (fluid retention in the peritoneum). They have to remove it through a process called paracentesis, about which the less said the better, but the point is that I had to go around worrying that my drawers would drop because I looked like a pregnant man. It was the only time in my life that I have worn suspenders, and my then 84-year-old mother's boyfriend had to show me how to use them (there is a certain art).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Madame
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Post by Madame » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:40 pm

jbuck919 wrote:My illness from several years ago, a horrible hepatitis, produced a condition called ascites (fluid retention in the peritoneum). They have to remove it through a process called paracentesis, about which the less said the better, but the point is that I had to go around worrying that my drawers would drop because I looked like a pregnant man. It was the only time in my life that I have worn suspenders, and my then 84-year-old mother's boyfriend had to show me how to use them (there is a certain art).
Getting me all misty-eyed here -- I can't remember when my dad didn't wear them, his waistline wasn't very defined, especially as he got older ... we bought him bold and bright colors, with wide straps -- yellow and red and striped -- it was his fashion statement. If he got dressed up he used the tasteful narrow black ones.

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:47 pm

Yes, one-inch width with jeans and t-shirt, a way to dress up the national costume of California, much as those in other cultures use ties for a splash of color with a suit and Oxford shirt.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

BWV 1080
Posts: 4451
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:05 pm

Post by BWV 1080 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:18 pm

DavidRoss wrote:Yes, one-inch width with jeans and t-shirt, a way to dress up the national costume of California, much as those in other cultures use ties for a splash of color with a suit and Oxford shirt.
Are they rainbow-striped with big pin-on buttons?

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:24 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:In the US suspenders seem to have gone the way of the three-piece suit. I have not seen anyone wear them in years
*****

I still see thre-piece suits in court occasionally with even women attorneys wearing them. I haven't had a three-piece suit in decades.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

BWV 1080
Posts: 4451
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:05 pm

Post by BWV 1080 » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:31 pm

Ralph wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:In the US suspenders seem to have gone the way of the three-piece suit. I have not seen anyone wear them in years
*****

I still see thre-piece suits in court occasionally with even women attorneys wearing them. I haven't had a three-piece suit in decades.
Although I have noticed that the 3-button suits have about the same cut on the chest as the vest did in a 3-piece suit. I refuse to buy a 3-button suit though.

Haydnseek
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Haydnseek » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:38 pm

In the UK a suspender is a what an American would call a garter belt and pants are underwear. An American man talking about his pants and suspenders in England before TV and movies made the US usage more familiar must have caused much laughter.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Madame
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Post by Madame » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:56 pm

Haydnseek wrote:In the UK a suspender is a what an American would call a garter belt and pants are underwear. An American man talking about his pants and suspenders in England before TV and movies made the US usage more familiar must have caused much laughter.
I never knew that -- hilarious! I love the Brit-American language differences, many laughs. Remembering this most proper woman from Wales talking about the village person whose job was to go around and knock everyone up in the mornings, and not understanding why we were laughing, thought we were criticizing the practice, and said "I'll have you know, my father was knocked up every day of his working life!".

mourningstar
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 17, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by mourningstar » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:34 pm

I Love wearing suspenders (braces).. they are IMO more comfortable then belts. belts are very thight, especially around the belly area
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:41 pm

mourningstar wrote:I Love wearing suspenders (braces).. they are IMO more comfortable then belts. belts are very thight, especially around the belly area
My friend in Korea was quite the clothes hound when we worked together. He bought Berberry and Armani. He was very particular about his braces - they had to be very high-end with embrodered scenes on them. For him his clothes were a statement that he belonged in the corporate board room.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:55 pm

I get my suits at Sym's whose motto is

"An educated consumer is our best customer."

Anybody remember Robert Hall?
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:05 pm

Ralph wrote:Anybody remember Robert Hall?
Yeah. Always hard by Kinney on the Highway.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26326
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:14 pm

Ralph wrote:I get my suits at Sym's whose motto is

"An educated consumer is our best customer."

Anybody remember Robert Hall?
You're killing me, Ralph. Please stop.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:52 pm

"When the values go up, up up
And the prices go down, down, down,
Robert Hall's the reason
In any season,
LOW OVERHEAD! LOW OVERHEAD!"

(Not low enough to stave off bankruptcy.)
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:56 pm

Braces with a vest/three-piece, belt for summer. Whoever thought ties were stylish in an Australian summer hasn't had to wear one when the air-conditioning breaks down on a stinker, I'd wager.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26326
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:58 pm

Ralph wrote:"When the values go up, up up
And the prices go down, down, down,
Robert Hall's the reason
In any season,
LOW OVERHEAD! LOW OVERHEAD!"

(Not low enough to stave off bankruptcy.)
Don't you have papers to correct or something?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Madame
Posts: 3552
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:56 am

Post by Madame » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:21 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
mourningstar wrote:I Love wearing suspenders (braces).. they are IMO more comfortable then belts. belts are very thight, especially around the belly area
My friend in Korea was quite the clothes hound when we worked together. He bought Berberry and Armani. He was very particular about his braces - they had to be very high-end with embrodered scenes on them. For him his clothes were a statement that he belonged in the corporate board room.
I have known two "elegant" Korean men, and both of them were extremely particular about the "statement" their clothes made. The first one was seated when we met, and his shoes were the first thing I noticed. I had no idea what they were, but I immediately knew they meant "money" -- and that became clear quite soon. Turns out they were made of ostrich leather, probably around 2 grand $1975. Those he was "courting" practically tripped over themselves to approach him, he had to do very little except smile, it was a thing to behold.

The other man also did the clothes statement thing, but he didn't carry it off so well in personality, and he didn't win others over that well. Later I learned that was by design, but it gained him very little. He came from a wealthy and prestigious family in Korea who lost nearly everything during the conflict, in fact lost some to execution. Many came to the US where their prestige meant nothing, and he had a difficult time with that. His attire was all that more important to him.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests