ULTIMATE GUIDE: HOW TO WEAR STRAPS WELL
11/19/2018 by Gustave Uhlig
Disclaimer: this article was written by Gustave and myself in order to give you the fullest possible overview of the subject. To avoid cluttering the text, however, we did not find it useful to specify changes in persons. Don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the readability of the article. Do not hesitate to tell us if you like this format written with four hands.
Although we are in the high season, the tests are linked and we are always overwhelmed, I managed to find a little time to write you an ultimate guide about an iconic accessory: the funky suspenders. We even found you a confidential brand, specialist in the field which offers a wide range (we will tell you more on Sunday).
Here you will find a summary of the appearance of suspenders, their place in popular beliefs and some style tips to wear them well. (especially, as you will see, in dressy outfits)
THE STRAPS: THE FIRST HOLD OF PANTS
Although the trend is towards belts, that they have dominated the fashion market (men and women) for more than a hundred years (as pants maintenance), it was not always so. Indeed, before, men used suspenders. As for women, it is a little more complicated because they were simply not allowed to wear pants, it was only for men. However, some very courageous women dared to wear pants in the 18th century (and therefore suspenders), one like Olympe de Gouges or George Sand!
It all started in the 16th century in France, we find them especially under the reign of Henry III. They are then used to maintain the outfit that we wear at the time (we are talking about breeches because the pants did not yet exist). A kind of pants whose materials were devoid of synthetic fibers (especially elastane) that we use today, so we needed an accessory to keep everything.
However, it was not until the French revolution of 1789 that they became popular and carried across all social circles, it was used in particular by the famous “sans-culottes” and the people who made up the Third Estate.
Quickly the pants (which were the prerogative of the bourgeoisie) disappear and give way to pants, as we know it today. There are then two types of suspenders commonly worn by men: “the worker suspender” (made from a sheet) which was designed to be resistant and maintain itself despite physical work. Then there was a second model, much more precious and artisanal: “the bourgeois suspender”. The latter being made from leather and luxurious fabrics, it required manufacturing requiring the intervention of a weaver and a shoemaker!
In the United States, the suspender was one of the first fashion accessories to be sold in ready-to-wear clothing to settlers by itinerant vendors.
However, suspenders as we know them today, did not appear until 1820 under the leadership of Albert Thurston. Offering an H shape on the back, the “H-backs” woven from tightly knitted wool, they are robust and solid: he sells them in his London store and success is there.