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Article: Suspenders - the most versatile accessory?

Henkselit - monikäyttöisin asuste?

Suspenders - the most versatile accessory?

Yes! Of the accessories, perhaps the most versatile is definitely suspenders, otherwise known as braces. Suspenders work equally well for party and casual wear and bring elegance, color or a relaxed mood to outfits when needed, always telling something about the wearer at the same time.

In its simplicity, the purpose of braces is to keep the wearer's pants on comfortably, but nowadays braces can also be used purely as an accessory that brings detail, even when the garment doesn't actually need them to stay up.

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Hundreds of years old invention

The history of suspenders goes back to the time before the actual breakthrough of belts in dressing. Namely, the first inventions that only remotely resemble the braces used today can be traced back to 18th century France. Where the braces at that time were actually mostly pieces of tape that were attached to the buttonholes of the pants and thus held the pants up. The use of suspenders was then comparable to underwear, and even up until around the 20th century, suspenders were by no means appropriate to be visibly worn or publicly presented.

The current look of suspenders appeared on the market in the early 1820s when the famous British suspender manufacturer Albert Thurston developed braces especially to be worn with the high-waisted trousers used at the time. In that time of the world, stylish pants were so high that you couldn't even wear them with a belt.

Albert's braces were also the first to use leather patches for attachment. Their braces were made from tightly felted boxcloth wool to the H model, after that came the X model which finally shaped into the modern Y model, which is still the most popular model in men's suspenders today. Of course, all the models mentioned above can still be found on the market.

Clips, i.e. quick fastenings, which are certainly very familiar to people of all ages, were developed in 1894, so that it was possible to use suspenders also in clothes that did not have a button fastening.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the great popularity of braces decreased a little because, together with the low-waisted trousers that were popular at the time, braces were no longer a mandatory part. Braces were still not completely forgotten and several doctors even recommended their use. After 1970, suspenders returned to the wearers' favor again and unisex models also started to appear on the market.  Little by little, fashion magazines reported how fashion-conscious young people let suspenders hang freely on the side of their trousers, without actually wearing them even on the shoulders. And that's how straps finally found their place as a detail in dressing and as an accessory that belongs and can be seen! Today, braces are available in many materials, widths, patterns and colors. Everyone will surely find something they like.

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Using braces

The suspenders use two different fastening methods: quick fastening and button fastening. Of which the button fastening is a more classic and festive way that requires buttons on the pants to which the suspenders are attached. These days, not many pants are sold with ready-made button fastenings, so you have to sew them on yourself or have a seamstress sew them onto the pants, or alternatively choose removable, clip-on buttons that can be changed between pants whenever necessary.

A faster way to fasten the suspenders is quick fastening, i.e. clips. The quick fastening does not require buttons and is really easy to use with any pants.

As a rule, braces have some kind of adjustment option, i.e. their length can be adjusted just right for you. Of course, there are also certain brace models, e.g.made-to-measure leather braces, the length of which cannot be adjusted. Putiikki's braces are all Y-shaped and come in normal or extra long, each brace is also adjustable. Fastening options are available as both button and quick fastening, some pieces have both.

The suspenders fit practically all trousers. They work both with straight trousers and light summer trousers or even as a partner for shorts. Suspenders are also an easy accessory for light madness. Colorful and narrow braces work best in summer dressing when they don't fall under other clothing but come into their own on top of them, such as when worn with a white t-shirt and linen pants.

If you wish, you can also add colorful suspenders to party wear. For example, the orange suspenders under the blue suit is a wonderful detail that can be glimpsed every now and then, but is not on display all the time. On the other hand, a more restrained ensemble is also stylish and, for example, black suspenders with a black suit give the outfit a certain dignity.

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Braces in outfits

When purchasing your first braces, you should especially think about their versatility, how to make one brace fit as many situations and outfits as possible. For example, black or brown suspenders are always stylish but restrained and look dignified even with a suit. Similarly, gray or blue suspenders are easy to combine with many outfits and color combinations. Colorful suspenders, on the other hand, bring freshness to a dark outfit and go great with lighter summer outfits or as a fun detail at a party. Tip! The flashier braces can easily be tied to match many outfits by getting a scarf of the same shade as a pair of braces, for example.

With colorful suspenders, you should often avoid multi-colored shirts with some violent and large pattern, so that the whole thing doesn't look too messy. Of course, with a patterned shirt, for example, simpler black or white suspenders might work really well.

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Choose high-quality braces

There are as many differences in the quality of braces as there are manufacturers, so when choosing braces, pay special attention after work. Check, for example, whether the fastening pieces are genuine leather or artificial leather. Also test the stiffness of the quick fasteners,  if they feel loose when new, they will probably loosen even more in use so that they no longer hold properly. You should also test the tightness of the braces' rubber band, as a low-quality rubber band loosens itself over time and makes the braces unusable. A good rubber band is dense and elastic.

In Saarni's boutique, you can find a wide selection of high-quality braces that are handmade in Italy. Brucle's suspenders have a wonderful range of colors, leather pieces and several details that will stay in your mind and take you away.


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