Is 'Out' In or is 'In' Out?

Vera asked: I prefer the button style [of suspenders], and I'm thinking of sewing the buttons on the outside. Your thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Fantastic question, Vera.  Suspenders for me, I must admit, have always been the vicious African python of my personal fashion world--I find them elegant, stunning, a throwback to a simpler time, admire their grandeur wrapped around individuals far more confident than I and might actually interact with them for a brief moment or two, but always have this (perhaps misguided) sensation that they could easily bite me in the butt if I handle them improperly. This is not to say at all that I do not enjoy rocking suspenders occasionally, nor does it in any way suggest I do not find them exceptionally debonair when pulled off correctly....I suppose I'm just always fearful of going full-dork.  Never go full-dork.

That being said, I was a bit stumped on your question.  The short answer is, "Yes, both ways are aesthetically pleasing and in fact buttons on the outside will probably earn your some fashion dandy street cred.

But beyond that, the historical significance of suspender button placement is actually quite remarkable as my recent research shows (forgive me if I begin to sound like Dr. Sheldon Cooper).  Believe it or not, suspenders have been around far before the Fall 2010 Urban Outfitters catalog and historically were used with buttons sewed to the pants (which I agree is astoundingly more preferable than modern snap versions).  And, interestingly, these buttons were sewn nearly always on the outside since most businessmen wore waistcoats and jackets that effectively hid them from public view.  Later, with the invention of the automobile and the accompanying luxurious and highly expensive leather interiors, the gash-ripping back buttons were the first to venture inside the pants, followed by the front buttons a few years later as it became more acceptable for businessmen to remove their jackets during the day (a trend presumably started by Texans who realized their growing dislike for heat stroke). 

So in my personal opinion, Vera, I say take a chance and go for the suspender buttons on the outside.  The cool thing about suspenders in today's style is that they're a throwback, a classic.  There's something about them that takes any look and adds a dash of history, of personal detail, of undeniable Industrial Revolution-era American cool--and by putting even more of a old-school twist on them, you just crank up the throwback coolness factor to 11.
Thanks so much for the question, Vera, and I hope this helps!  Remember friends, you can submit all your style queries by clicking on the Ask A Gentleman tab above.  Cheers!


Post a Comment