Interesting facts about suspenders

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      230

In Europe, the first mention of suspenders appeared during the reign of Louis XIV. Suspenders looked like a sling for a sword and only much later were transformed into a trouser-supporting accessory.

In Germany, for hundreds of years, suspenders (garter belts) were an indispensable part of every day and weekend wear. Is it possible to imagine the famous German leather pants without suspenders)?

In XVIII century the suspenders themselves were made of leather, although they were made of thick fabric and even braided and knitted. At some point, suspenders became a recognized symbol of American business acumen.

According to another version, suspenders appeared in France during the Revolution of 1789 - 1794. It was at that time the adherents of the new system refused belts, which they often could not afford, in favor of suspenders. At first they looked like strips of elastic fabric, then they were fastened to the back with a button. There is also a theory that suspenders were invented, as we know them today, by Albert Thorston in 1820.

At first they were attached by loops to buttons which were sewn on pants, then in October 1894 David Rough invented and patented special clips so that suspenders could be attached to any pants, pants or jeans.

This innovation quickly caught on because the fashion of those years dressed men in pants with a slightly high waist, for such a belt, could not fulfill its purpose. I can't imagine the elegant gentleman of those years without stylish suspenders.

In the first half of the XX century, the popularity of suspenders came to naught. They were used mainly by farmers and workers.

Suspenders resurfaced on the fashion scene in the 1960s in the UK, the working class combined tight jeans and suspenders, finding it functional and stylish. Then in the 1970s there was a wave of unisex style popularity among women in Europe and the US, and suspenders fit in perfectly.

In form, suspenders differ in the arrangement of the stripes on the back. It can be X-shaped, Y-shaped and H-shaped. H-shaped ones are an attribute of the uniform or special clothing, and if you are not a firefighter, they are unlikely to attract you. X and Y crossings are more standard and casual.

Suspenders are sometimes positioned as the clothes of a manager and a stockbroker - black pants with arrows, white shirt and red suspenders. Good quality suspenders should be of an appropriate length, not too tight, and match the color of the tie.

The main stages of the invention, refinement and promotion of the suspenders style:

  • 1820 - Albert Thorston creates and sells in his London store the first suspenders most similar to modern suspenders. They are attached with leather loops to special buttons on the inside or outside of pants. In Britain, the suspenders are still called “braces”, while in America the variant “suspenders” is more commonly used. The Albert Thurston company still exists today and still makes suspenders. Probably the best, or at least the best known.
  • 1871 - Samuel Clemens, the one who wrote “Tom Sawyer” under the pseudonym Mark Twain, receives patent No. 121992. Many people somehow think it was a patent for suspenders, when in fact Clemens thought they were extremely uncomfortable and invented an alternative: an adjustable strap that, just like suspenders, attaches to the buttons of pants, shirts or even women’s corsets and pulls them down at the waist.
  • 1894 - A certain David Rough receives patent No. 527887 for the world’s first clip-on suspenders. Now pants do not have to have special buttons at all to fasten suspenders.
  • 1928 - As high-waisted pants are replaced by models that sit almost at the hips, suspenders lose their former popularity, but do not disappear altogether. American doctors, concerned about obesity, scold belts and recommend that patients wear suspenders along with regular exercise.
  • 1938 - Suspenders, as before, are still considered an item of underwear. Wearing them in plain sight without covering them with a jacket is risky. One daredevil in a small town on Long Island tried to get fined for such a liberty, calling suspenders worn without a jacket on top an obscenity in terms of style.
  • 1939 - Actor Ralph Richardson admits that when he learned of the outbreak of war, the first thing he did was go to his tailor on Savile Row and, for fear of shortages, bought six pairs of suspenders for good measure.
  • The 1960s - Suspenders become part of the English skinhead look. He wears blue jeans and clips of suspenders on to them, even though the jeans didn’t need any extra support - they held evenly at the waist on their own.
  • 1987 - After the movie “Wall Street”, suspenders are on the list of obligatory attributes of investment bank employees. Since then, it has long been accepted that suspenders are a sign of wealth and success, and that those who have neither should not wear accessories that hint at these virtues.

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