On the often debated subject of the best option between suspenders vs belt to support the trousers, the Esoteric Gentleman’s Club received the following from an alert and knowledgeable reader:
“Suspenders dear sir were the illogical logical development of some simple minded ungentlemanly gentleman who chose to mask their overeating by creating a novel style of dress, i.e. suspenders, which in effect are not different for belts except one is vertical and one is horizontal. Suspenders of course can stretch to accommodate the, well, the overly large person’s ability to remain dressed, at least from the waist down. Suspenders did not come first, belts came first. Stylists did do a good job though in convincing many men that it was the proper dress. Of course the real gentleman continues to use a belt.”
Well he’s right of course. Belts have been used for thousands of years, whereas suspenders were invented in the late-ish 1800’s. Suspenders do make for more comfort when one has a belly growing out of all due proportion.
But that doesn’t completely answer the question. Are suspenders to be totally checked off the list of sartorially correct items of gentlemanliness? I would say no, for three reasons:
- Suspenders allow the wearer greater freedom of movement without much fear that one’s shirt or pants will move out of place. Suspenders hold the pants precisely where they should be; with belts, if not quite tight, the pants could sink with much movement, which could also lead to the shirt becoming de-tucked here and there.
- Suspenders have become an acceptable sartorial item.
- More than ever, there are lads with, er, baggage in the stomach department.
Disagree? Agree? Don’t let the lads sit in suspense, tell us what you think.