In years gone by, a belt was only seen as a decorative accessory, primarily because most men wore braces in order to hold their trousers up. More recently, braces have benefitted from a revival of sorts. But, when is it acceptable to wear braces nowadays? And, if you do wear them – how should they be worn?

What style should you go for? 

Our selection of designs are all button-on braces. Clip-on braces are really not that practical; they slip off very easily and aren’t as well-made as the button on style. Wherever possible, we’d suggest always opting for the button option. You’ll usually find the button to clip the braces to in the inside waistband of your trousers – if your trousers don’t have suspender buttons, don’t threat, you can come into us to get them added, or, if you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can add a button yourself. There are plenty of DIY brace button addition tutorials online.

We’d suggest only wearing braces with mid-to-long rise trousers. Although braces have come back into fashion lately, it’s important to remember what made them so fashionable in years gone by. Braces don’t work with low-rise trousers, so the placement of the trouser needs to be hanging at or just about your waist.

What not to do

We’ve touched on the importance of never wearing a belt and braces. We should add that a belt shouldn’t be worn with any formalwear; side adjusters and braces are perfectly adequate for formalwear and as a result, the need of a belt becomes obsolete.

On this point, it’s important to remember that braces are considered as underwear. Unlike a tie clip or a pocket square, braces look better under a jacket, waistcoat or jumper. A subtle hint of the brace is perfectly acceptable, and so is taking your jacket off after a long night to reveal the braces. However, planning your outfit around having your braces showing is not recommended.

Tailoring tips

When you come in for an appointment, these are things we’ll discuss with you. But, nevertheless, it’s always good to know these tailoring tips in general, should you ever find yourself needing them. Firstly, the trousers you wear with your braces should be loose. It eradicates the importance of the braces, which primary use (over the fashionable aspect) is to hold your trousers up. When buying trousers off the rack, keep this in mind if you’re planning to wear braces with them.

Never buy braces that aren’t adjustable; they will need tweaking on your height and weight and they may also need tweaking in between wearing them. If you’re taller than 6″3, we’d recommend buying long braces. Braces that are too small for you can be very uncomfortable on the shoulders.

Hopefully this covers all areas of brace wearing. Should you have any specific questions or requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sophie-Nicol Dodds