I was delighted to discover that my Christmas stocking included a pair of trouser braces. I had also bought myself a pair, as it happens. Needless to say they are the button rather than clip on variety.
So over the past week or so I’ve been channelling my inner Dr Who or Ralph Fiennes’ ‘M’ as I have been trying them out. A couple of things I have discovered. First is that most of my trousers are slightly too big at the waist. Second, braces can change the way a pair of trousers fit.
Now to be fair, it was not really a discovery that most of my trousers are slightly too big. I have been consciously buying trousers one size larger at the waist for over 20 years. This is because I don’t like my trousers to be too close fitting; I prefer a bit of wiggle room. So since my early 20s I’ve deliberately bought my trousers a size larger than my waist so that I have more wiggle room and have used a belt to adjust the waist to fit.
However, when wearing braces there is no belt to cinch in the waist, so suddenly my slightly too large waistbands have been exposed. This has meant that I have had to adjust the waists of the worst offending trousers before being able to use my new suspenders. That has been an interesting exercise, about which I will say more in a later post.
The real discovery has been how braces can change the way that a pair of trousers fit. When wearing a belt your trousers hang from the waist, or more realistically these days, from the hips. However, when wearing braces your trousers hang from the shoulders. Moreover, by adjusting your braces you can raise or lower the point at which your waistband sits as desired.
Best of all your trousers will stay in that position all day. No more pulling up your trousers throughout the day if the waist is a bit too large, or tucking your shirt back into your waistband at various intervals; because your braces will keep the waistband of your trousers precisely where you have determined you want it to be.
If your trousers are ever so slightly too long in the leg you can adjust the braces so your waistband sits a little higher and the hem of your trousers will fall just so. Alternatively, for a shorter pair you can do the opposite.
Even better, for those of us sporting a bit of a post-Christmas paunch, because wearing braces does away with the need to wear a belt you are spared the blushes of discovering that you now need a slightly longer belt to get round your waist than you did back in November.
To say I am enjoying the braces is a bit of an understatement. The problem now is that I now want them in a wider colour palette than the 2 that I have.
My braces came from formaltailor.co.uk who have them in a wide range of colours from £11.95. To be fair, they are not the last word in quality, for that you will ned to spend 4 times as much and you will need to buy and sew into your waistband some ¾ inch buttons in order to attach your braces. Nonetheless, for the price they are great and I am happy to recommend them if you are looking for a starter pair. The pair above are from smartturnout.co.uk and have been discounted to £39 from £59.
Apologies that it’s been a while since my last post; life has been hectic of late. I hope to be able to carve out time to post more regularly in coming days.