Button On or Clip Braces?
While today's quality clip on braces are great, you really can't beat button on suspenders for that classic look. And the traditionalists simply wouldn't wear anything else.
These days trousers rarely come with buttons pre-attached so its time to get out that needle and thread and do a little retrofitting (or if you want to wear them with lots of different pairs of trousers, you might like to use our clip on buttons).
The question we are often asked is where should the buttons be sewn and should they be attached to the inside (see the pic on the right) or outside of the waistband.
Really it all comes down to personal choice.
For casual wear - and if you wear braces most of the time - I tend to lean to the fixing them on outside for two reasons.
- It reduces the chance of the waistband rolling down. If the braces are attached inside the waistband the pull on the fabric can cause this to happen.
- It's easier. When you sew them on the inside you have to make sure that the the needle doesn't go right through the waistband or the stitching will show at the front.
However with a business suit or for a formal occasion with a tux and all the trimmings, button on braces do look classier when the buttons are on the inside of the waistband.
How to wear button braces?
It is important to choose matching buttons that are suitable for the look you are going for and are the correct size. They need to be small enough to fit through the leather runner but large enough to stop the braces flying off.
Where you place the buttons is also important. If you want to be "old school" then the theory seems to be that the front buttons should be placed one over the main pleat and one just before the side seam at each side. However, in the real world, the button position should be determined by the size and shape of the wearer. Before sewing on the buttons, try them on to get a feel for where the buttons should be located. Do this in front of a mirror or have someone help you.The straps should sit comfortably on your shoulders and fall in a straight line at the front to your waistband. From there it should be easy to determine how far apart to sew the buttons.
If the braces are Y back, then the rear buttons should be attached about two inches or 50 mm to either side of the centre seam. If you have the buttons too far apart it can cause the pants to gape. Too close and they will not hold up the back of the trousers so well.
X back braces are particularly suitable for larger men. Like the front, these have a total of four fastenings at the back and give extra support. They look great too.
If you are particularly slender, then Y back may be a better choice.
And what about that old chestnut: should you wear a belt with braces. Absolutely not! However should you go to the trouble of removing belt loops? If you have no intention of ever wearing the pants in question with a belt, perhaps. But frankly who has the time! If you want to wear pants exclusively with braces and don't like to see belt loops you could always buy pants that don't have them to start with.