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The 10 Commandments of Suspenders

  • Najib Benouar


It’s one of menswear’s most uncomfortable truths: you’ve got to keep your pants on somehow.

And when it really comes down to it, suspenders are not only the more elegant choice—compared to cinching a strap of leather around your waist and hoping for the best—but also the more practical one, by taking the unique contours of your waistline out of the equation. But like all sartorial unknowns, there are rules to live by. Rules we’ve put together in this handy guide:

The 10 Commandments of Suspenders.»

The Tie Bar Gets Into the Suspenders Game

  • Najib Benouar


We come bearing great news for the trads: the stalwarts of reasonably priced neckwear at The Tie Bar have just launched a line of suspenders—known as braces, to the real heads.

Sure, suspenders have been living a pretty quiet existence since their last heyday in the Gekko era, but every so often, in the more tweedy corners of menswear, you’ll still find trousers with a few well-placed buttons where belt loops would be.

And if you happen to have a pair, here’s your chance to strap in. Or if you’re just considering dipping your toes, they’ve got a few clip-on options too—which are a bit more acceptable than a clip-on would be in, say, the bow tie world. (You ought to be wearing a cardigan or blazer over them anyway.)

Take a look at a few of our favorites after the jump.»

Samantha Gradoville Is in Need of Cufflinks

  • Kempt Staff

via The Libertine

Ladies in Tuxedos: A historical look at the way menswear has shaped women’s fashion in 15 iconic moments. [Bullett]

Boardwalking the Walk: A treatise on how Boardwalk Empire has finally become the show it’s been trying to be, three seasons in. [Grantland]

Internet Speak, Circa 1917: On the anniversary of Winston Churchill’s birthday, we also learn that he played a role in the first ever usage of “O.M.G.” [Page Views]

UnDEAD: Mining the zombie apocalypse thriller The Walking Dead for some surprisingly stylish gear—including “life or death” suspenders. [A Headlong Dive]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Allen Grubesic

allengrubesic_crop.jpgvia GoaG

When you’re at your own gallery show, you owe it to the world to get a little bit outlandish. For instance, it’s just about the only circumstances under which we’d accept a leather hat.

The gentleman in question is Allen Grubesic (that’s him in the beard), at his first solo exhibition in New York on Friday. Fortunately, he celebrated the occasion with some trim-cut pastel khakis, an invisi-tie and a gnomic beard—which is more or less the way we want our conceptual artists to look.

The suspenders are impressive enough, but we’d direct your attention to the gentleman’s pant cuffs. A preppier man would have cuffed them, maybe even showing a little sock, but Grubesic doesn’t bother. Consider this an early warning: the era of the summer roll may be drawing to a close.

Amanda Seyfried Is Communicating By Bird

Women at Work: Women at work, during the Rosie-the-Riveter days. Ladies? [Archival Clothing]

Brace Yourself: An ode to leather suspenders. We’d definitely like to see more of these. [Men’s Flair]

Ok, This Is The Last SXSW Post: Musings on less-than-credible hip-hop and indie pop, as the festival matures. [Vulture]

And Just Because It’s Friday: Wilson Pickett, soul man and owner of a spectacular pair of loafers, would have been 70 years old today. [YouTube]

Against the Belt


Here’s an early candidate for sentence of the day: “Beltlessness, or the state of being suited without a belt, is to me a superior state.”

We’ve been gaining sympathy for this position for quite some time. Our newfound suspender love is part of it, but even the more handsome belts these days have been slimming down to razor-thin proportions as a semi-apologetic sign that well, maybe you’re better off with less belt in your life. The truth is, you probably are. Your pants will drape better and, if you buy with an eye to beltlessness, fit better. That doesn’t mean the belt’s going to become a faux pas any time soon, but if you’ve got the chance to go without, you should. Yes, even with a suit.

Kava Gorna is Enjoying Her Denim Couch


Blue on Blue: Earnest Sewn’s latest lookbook contains an unusual quantity of come-hither gazes. [Refinery29]

Crash, Zoom, Bang: In case you’ve filled your quote of uplifting cinema for the week, here’s the latest Iron Man 2 trailer. [In Contention]

Brace Yourself: Everything you ever wanted to know about suspender buttons. And we do mean everything. [Men’s Flair]

Two of Us: Sitting down with the delightful Zooey Deschanel, and some other guy. [BlackBook]

To Button or Not to Button


These Band of Outsiders suspenders just arrived at the Context shop—an overdue men’s version of a women’s item they’ve had for a while—and they commit what might be one of the most overhyped faux-pas’s of the style world: the clip-on suspender.

Clearly, in a maximally elegant world, we’d all have suspender buttons and use the fancy kind of shoulder strapping, but there’s no shame in something a little quicker. For one thing, finding a pair of trousers with the right buttons takes some serious searching. For another, you won’t be wearing these out in the open anyway: You’ll have a cardigan or blazer on to keep things proper. True, it’s a little more laddish than the buttoned-down style—but that's not such a bad thing.



This one has been building steam for a while (exhibits A and B), so we’re hesitant to call it a trend, so instead we’ll put it this way: You should think about wearing suspenders.

No, seriously.

Slip a pair on next time you doff a jacket and you might be shocked to find your pants draping a whole lot better, and avoiding the cinch-and-billow look that plagues the belted trouser. You can take off the jacket for a more adventurous look—joining the trads, the Americanists and the tie revivalists all at once—or keep it on and enjoy the benefits in relative secrecy.

It can still be hard to find a good pair, but we recommend these from Alexander Olch, which you might have seen at a shop or two recently, or trying the vintage route. One advantage of picking up the trend on the early side: you’ll have plenty to choose from.