The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Style Question. . .

 A belt worn with braces?  Don't do it! 

This morning, I had a question posed by a former student of mine from quite a few years ago, who is now in law school and a Facebook friend.  He wrote:

"Style question for you: if you're wearing a suit with braces, is it necessary (style-wise) to also wear a belt? I would think not (and I often prefer the more classic look of braces) but of course the braces are typically concealed by one's jacket, and so it may appear that one has simply forgotten the belt."

This very question has been addressed often elsewhere in the menswear blogosphere, but here is my take on the matter.

If and when you are wearing braces, as I hope you are with a suit, definitely do not add the belt. It's not necessary and looks silly. You might also consider having a tailor remove the belt loops from said suit and simply wear braces when the suit is necessary.  Or you just feel like wearing it.  

Removing the belt loops makes for a smoother, more finished look in the case of a suit, which is desirable.  That is something I ought to do myself, since I have several pairs of dress pants plus a few suits with brace buttons on the inside of the waistbands, and I categorically never wear a belt with these items.

-- Heinz-Ulrich 


Mark Hollingsworth said...

I recently tried that option as one of my suits had the buttons for the braces (suspenders) and also belt loops - the tailor removed the belt loops for just $10 and I am left with a very clean look. A belt is always a challenge with a suit as it spoils the smooth transitional line, and trousers seen with belt loops but no belt also looks strange. As an aside the tailor also told me she could add the buttons for $15 on other trousers if I wanted to expand my collection of 'loopless' trousers!

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Thank you for the pointer, Mark. I'll look into this later in the summer, since I've got a few new things that need minor alterations anyway.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

guy said...

Definitely no belt loops on suits. I have my suit trousers done fairly lose round the waist primarily because I sit down at my desk for most of the day. Button braces are the way to go and there are some great sets out there to but please not the versions which allow both buttons and clips. I once again have a fairly conservative selection for my work suits but I have some more 'colourful' sets of braces for items such as my dinner jacket and linen cream summer suit.

My only plea would be to forgo the 'joke' braces eg with things such as Disney characters etc. Firstly they go out of fashion v quickly and secondly and most importantly they just are not funny. I should however mention that my father has a set with hammers, chisels and mallets which he wears with his gardening trousers. I'll let him off those!


Jason said...

Always felt embarrassed at wearing braces, even with a suit, but they are practical, and as a plumber, I was constantly hitching my pants up, so I tried a pair of plain blue braces on my jeans, and they work great. As I am only 22, I felt a bit of a nerd, but the ladies really love them, and I get many twangs in a day!

Callum said...

Jason, your comment got me thinking, and I am now the proud owner/wearer of a pair of plain green braces. I am a gardener, and I do find it easier to work when my pants are not hanging off my butt. I do feel self-conscious in them ( I am only 20), but am comfortable, and the females have no complaints!