Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hiding Braces

Do you hide your braces under a jacket, vest, cardigan, or other layer of clothing? Are you embarrassed to be seen wearing your braces? Why?

Braces were originally part of a man’s undergarments, similar to sock garters. However, braces have come of age and now hold up their own (pun intended!). If you wear braces, and like to wear braces, display them proudly to bystanders – just be tasteful and classy.
 

That is what I did today. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and so I opted to wear a pair of light grey pants with Trafalgar braces and a green, blue, and white plaid dress shirt. These Trafalgar braces were one of my first purchases of braces, and I’m glad I invested in a quality pair that I’m still using today. The brace straps are stripped, with grey strip in the middle surrounded by a thin white line and a navy border strip.  The Y-back braces also have a dash of burgundy color in the rear, to keep it exciting! Here’s the look:


Trafalgar braces Rear burgundy strap


While I was at the bank a clerk commented on the outfit saying, “I like your look; very traditional with the suspenders”, by which she meant braces (I’ll excuse her for not knowing the difference). But this the point - as people wear braces the general population learns that they are called braces, not suspenders. It's not embarrassing to be seen exposing your braces. The bank clerk sees hundreds of people a day, and appreciated seeing me wear braces. The comment was not a criticism, but an appreciation of style.
 

So don’t feel embarrassed to display your braces in public. Wear them with class and people will appreciate the time and effort you put in to your outfit for the day.

Discussion time:
  • Have you been embarrassed to show your braces or suspenders in public?
  • How do you feel when you take off your jacket, vest, or cardigan and display your braces or suspenders?
  • What outfits have you worn recently with braces?

16 comments:

  1. Yes I have been embarrassed a few times when wearing suspenders. I guess I feel this way because as a young person I was told that suspenders were never to be seen as they are really underwear. I wear suspenders every day with suits or casual clothing as I feel more comfortable wearing them rather than a belt.The only exception is in summer when I feel they would be too warm.

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  2. I hardly ever show mine fully. I give glimpses. The only ones I will show off are elastic suspenders on a dress. I'd love to be able to wear them as office wear but my work place is uber casual dress code wise. And being a woman means that I'm scared that people think I'm a freak. I wish I could take a leaf out of Rachel's book!!

    Andie

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  3. We appreciate stylish braces as much as the next person but they should never be hidden. Be proud!

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  4. I understand why some people might be embarrassed about showing their back brace, because let's be honest it's not really the most flattering look on people but that being said it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. With today's fashion trends I'm sure it is possible to find away to hide your brace or better yet enhance your outfit with it, Just like how you did. You look amazing in that outfit if I see you walking down the street I would have never known that you were wearing braces


    Regards,
    Toni Simpson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Toni, Thank you for your comments. I think we have a different understanding of what braces are referring to. In the photos above, I am not wearing a back brace or back support. Rather, I'm wearing (and displaying) button-on braces that attach to my pants.

      This fashion accessory to hold up your pants, or to wear a a stylish accessory are called different names, which may be the reason for the misunderstanding. In North America, they are generally referred to as "suspenders". In Europe (and Britain), they are referred to as "braces". There are 2 primary types - button-on and clip-on. This blog uses "braces" to refer to button-on variety, and "suspenders" for the clip-on variety. I encourage you to read the other posts for more information.

      This blog is dedicated to promoting braces for pants and skirts, not back support braces.

      Delete
  5. Today I 'm wearing a black tank top (uk = vest top.) pinstripe trousers, a pair of H-back blue clip on 3.5 inch wide braces (suspenders) with yellow dots and a black cardigan with only one button fastened so that my braces were on display . Andie

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  6. I always wear Braces on Friday. U tab. Box cloth . But only under a vest of Three piece suit. As far as l know ; braces ( back in their hey day ) were seen as underwear that shouldn't be seen. They were worn under three piece suits. Then after world war 1 ; Allied soldiers were coming back from the war and got used to wearing belts. So braces began waning in popularity ; slowly starting from the 1920s. In the 1930s ; many men stopped wearing vests with their suits . Since the vests were used to hide the braces ;
    The braces stopped being worn too. And those men switched to belts . Then there were some people who began wearing 3 piece suits with belts . By the 1950s ; most men preferred the single breasted two piece suits . I guess braces were sadly gone by then. But l always make it a point to wear three piece suits with braces. Its the proper way of wearing a three piece suit. But you look excellent with your braces ; exposed though. But l doubt that traditionally ; they were meant to be worn uncovered like that. Yet amazingly ; you pulled it off. Well done.

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  7. I don’t know about embarrassed but I was definitely nervous about wearing my cool new batman suspenders for the first time in middle school. I thought they were cool when Mom showed them to me in the department store but when I had to actually wear them to school they didn’t seem so cool anymore. Middle school being what it is when you do something completely different like wear suspenders you had to really “own it”; any sign of nervousness was like blood in shark infested waters. I think I wore them every day for a week to make sure everyone knew “I owned it”.

    The only other time since then that I was nervous about them was on a flight about a year ago. I was the middle seat between 2 men, both wearing suspenders. I kept my jacket on the entire flight. I’m used to being the only one wearing suspenders, I didn’t know quite how to handle that situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous: I agree that middle school can be veracious. Glad to hear you owned it!

      Enjoy wearing suspenders - even if you are not the only one on the flight doing so.

      Delete
  8. I have always been a fan of braces since University, but have always been shy of showing them, so rarely wear a pair unless I know I am not going to remove my jacket. However, I was absolutely amazed when my 19 year old son came down to breakfast the other day in shirt and jeans held up by plain blue braces. I didn't say a word, as he was totally at ease, but when he asked if I wanted anything from the shop, my concern obviously showed, as he asked if anything was wrong. I said that I was always taught that braces were underwear, and shouldn't be seen in public. He merely said how old-fashioned that view was, and went on his way.I wish I could share his freedom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous: Thanks for sharing. It's good to hear your 19 year-old son does not have concerns about showing off his braces. I do find younger people have no problems bending the "rules" of fashion - they wear what they want to wear.

      If you are hesitant about wearing braces in public, try them under cardigan to start, and then gradually expose them.

      Braces have come of there own and can be worn without the need to hide them. Wear braces proudly!

      Delete
  9. i always wear wide braces as i feel they are classier then thin ones .I like to see peoples reation when i open my jacket to reveal them

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  10. My Dad has often worn braces, on show around the house, so when I tried a pair and liked the comfort and style, I was most surprised when he said "you're not going out like that are you?" when I was about to leave the house. It had never crossed my mind that anyone would bother about being seen wearing braces in public. Why would they be made in so many colours and patterns if they are not supposed to be seen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Neil, yes, it does seem strange that there are so many different colours and patterns that you would want to proudly display them! So go for it! Wear your braces at home and outside of the home.

      Some people wear a cardigan, blazer, or other top layer when they are going out. When they arrive, they remove the top layer to reveal their braces, which I think is great.

      Delete
  11. I don't get it either but there seems to be a prevailing wisdom that "Suspenders are like underwear and shouldn't been seen" that has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. It makes no sense because if you look a pictures from that period invariably you would see men and kids wearing suspenders more often than not. I've about decided that its a conspiracy by the fashion police to mandate vests with suits and ties. Ill hide mine when everyone starts hiding their belts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous: agreed, there are plenty of historic photos and movies of men wearing braces on display for others.

      Delete

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