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How To Wear A Wrist Watch Properly – The Lesson of Style

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Suspenders: Accessory for Men or Fashion Statement for Women?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

SuspendersSuspenders is an accessory deeply rooted in men's wardrobe, though women who could not put up with such glaring inequality, borrowed and successfully incorporated this stylish item into their own wardrobe. They've been relegated to bankers and period movies until now. Today, when the boundaries of men's and women's fashion are becoming increasingly blurred, no one can argue the power of unisex, and some go as far as saying that suspenders in their present-day form suit women better than men. However, there is no need to be so categorical, as men wear suspenders as a tribute to traditions, while for women it's a way to experiment and explore new fashion territory.  Contemporary women will find any color, style, fabric or hardware in the ladies suspenders category. Trousers, jeans, skirts, jumpers or overalls can be elevated by a pair of suspenders. Wide or thin, fancy fabric or casual, women raise suspenders to a high-style elegance all their own.

First devised in the 19th century, suspenders were common items until the war made men more accustomed to belts. Because of their image as underwear, men switched to belts during the 1930s as the waistcoats which had hidden braces became worn less. This also signaled the switch of position of the buttons from the outside of the waistband to the inside. Though the return of fuller-cut trousers in the 1940s revived braces, they did not dominate over belts again to the same extent and their popularity has waned since then. Suspenders are always and unfailingly used as an alternative to the usual belt. This isn't entirely a matter of choice, as suspenders are made to be worn with a particular variety of pants. The trousers for suspenders have buttons for attaching the tabs, either on the outside (traditionally) or on the inside of the waistband, which does not have belt loops. The trousers also have a high back in the fishtail shape, though this is not so common now; this shape has an additional adjuster strap at the back as well as the two side adjusters placed on most belt-less trousers.

While they have been in and out of fashion over the last century (alternating with belts in general preference), they are becoming popular again following the resurgence of styles seen in period dramas such as the 2008 remake of Brideshead Revisited.

Suspenders are also a typical part of skinhead and punk fashion. In skinhead and punk fashion suspenders are typically between 3/4" and 1" in width. To some skinheads the color and placement (either up around the shoulders or down around the waist) of suspenders may have political significance.

Materials used for making suspenders have also changed over time, with newer additions such as rayon, a hard-wearing synthetic fiber, now offered as well as the standard boxcloth (a fuzzy woolen cloth). Silk, though traditional, is not long-lasting.

Suspenders may have owed some popularity to the lack of options in trousers. One pair of suspenders will make many pants, even ones with waists which are several sizes too big, fit comfortably. For those who prefer a more relaxed and casual style, suspenders offer great versatility, as they can be attached to jeans or suit pants, especially if the print or pattern matches the color of the tie or scarf. If you opt for all-out-casual style, characterized by carefully arranged disregard to your appearance, your choice is wearing suspenders with jeans and denim or cotton shirt with top buttons open. In this case suspenders should not be clashing in color with the shirt, but to stand out as bold accessory, for instance, if you choose to wear a monochrome beige shirt, go for printed brown suspenders, while monochrome braces will fit perfectly with multi-color or bold-printed shirt.

Women have always rocked the look of suspenders since they started wearing menswear trends.  These suspenders impart the feeling of old school men's suits, but yet they bring a touch of femininity to the outfit.  So this trend is nothing new, a resurfacing recycled trend, but more feminine, more adorable, and better suited for today's modern woman.

Some of the hottest bottoms today come paired with matching suspenders, and even Hollywood is quickly catching on - Lauren Conrad, Agyness Deyn, Keira Knighly, and Kate Moss among others. Suspender bottoms are hitting it big this year, providing plenty of women a hefty amount of suspender styles that are sure to satisfy and flatter the needs of every type of woman.

If you're into unisex, pair wide leather suspenders with a white tank top and wide trousers, a declaration of love to a menswear style, especially if accessorized with narrow-brim hat or fedora. When paired with classic white shirt and pencil skirt or a more free-style blouse and long skirt, or pants/jeans, suspenders decorated with embroidery or other ornaments reinforce the image created with other accessories such as shoes or bags.

Suspenders no longer just hold up pants. Suspenders are worn for fashionable fun and to show support for cause. This versatile accessory is a must in any men's wardrobe, and a welcome addition to a woman's wardrobe.

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