I like a good belt, me. From a thin braided offering to a chunky biker buckle, they’re my proffered gravity-defying trouser accessory. But as the years pile up, and the pounds pile on, my paunch is finding itself more and more at odds with my waistline adornments.
So what are my other options? I’d rather walk about in my underpants than wear elasticated trousers. They make me think of the super-sized people who have to hire a golf-cart to get around Disney World without keeling over. And losing weight just isn’t going to happen when Subway have just launched a £3 lunch time meal deal.
As an upstanding citizen (and one happy not to get an ASBO for flashing my tighty whities) the job falls to braces (or suspenders if you’re a US reader), the shoulder-strapping saviours of trouser hems since being popularised in 1822 by Albert Thurston.
But they’ve had a bit of a chequered history, have the humble old braces. While they’re currently on the rise thanks to the popularity of the suited-booted Mad Men look, in the UK at least they’re still closely associated with the skinhead style championed by the National Front right-wing movement of the 1980s.
Also, this image of former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, caught recently taking out the rubbish wearing little else OTHER THAN BRACES makes a little bit of sick rise to the back of my throat. Sorry Ken, I’d pick you over Boris any day of the week, but this look’s more Albert Steptoe than Albert Camus.
So, have braces weathered the unsavoury associated storm of the Eighties to shine through in 2012 as an on-trend “boardroom-chic” accessory? Or are they still just a way of keeping the thumbs of shaven-headed yobs occupied instead of forming fists?
Take our poll below and let me know what you think! My dignity depends on it!
By Gerald Lynch | April 3rd, 2012