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Essential Accessories: Mens Braces

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If you’re a regular reader of MFM, you probably already know about our love crush on detailing. You see, attention to detailing is like the icing on the cake, it’s what seperates a good look from perfect appearance. There’s various ways we can add more detailing to our look, but the most common way is through the use of accessories. This is going to be a feature we’re going to be rolling out each month, highlighting an essential accessory us gents should all own. You’ll be surprised at how the use of accessories can really transform a look. Us gents need to man up, and admit that women accessorise a lot better than we do. They understand the importance, and it’s about time we did too. We’re kicking off with a timeless accessory: Braces.

Look, this isn’t a history lesson but it’s always good to know how far timeless clothing and accessories date back to. Braces, otherwise known as suspenders, has had several precursors throughout the past 300 years. The modern style we see today was first invented all the way back in 1822 by Albert Thurston. Talk about timeless. The development of the good old belt haulted the popularity of braces, and Life magazine wrote that in 1938 60% of american men chose belts over suspenders/braces. In today’s market, we’d put money on it that the percentage is now even higher. But why?

Ways To Wear Braces

Now when we talk about ways to wear braces, it’s tailored more towards what we wear braces with. Do we wear a belt with them? Tie? Do they need to be worn with formal attire or can they be used for casual day to day looks? There’s a lot of questions that need answering, and the good thing with any accessory, is that we can experiment a lot.

Typically, braces are worn with formal attire. They’re normally used for function, but of course, we want to focus on wearing them for style. You’ll normally see guys wearing braces with suit trousers and a shirt, adding detailing to a formal look. But more recently, we’ve seen them utilised with casual attire being worn with polo shirts and sometimes even a basic tee. Here are some photos for inspiration:

Mens Braces Lookbook

Just by using the images for inspiration, you can see there are a variety of looks you can implement braces into. Wearing them with casual attire might not be for you, but braces do add a whole new element to a pretty basic look. A white t-shirt and jeans combination seems pretty boring, but add some braces and you’ll create a whole new element to the look. It adds individualism, and it adds uniqueness. 

The one golden rule with braces is to of course, drop the belt. The belt is still a great accessory and is often under utilised, but braces of course add a whole new element. Drop the belt for a few looks, and implement braces.

The popularity has increased dramatically over the last year, and it looks to continue. There’s great variety in todays market, and here’s some handpicked braces that will add a lot to any look:

Drakes Blue Polka Dot BracesTopman Navy And Burgundy Spotted BracesTopman Burgundy BracesHackett Navy BracesDrakes Striped BracesTopman Black Braces
So what do you think? Do you implement braces into casual and formal looks? How many pairs do you own?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.

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