Time Suspended: A History of Suspenders

Suspend your belief the in the laws of physics, and travel with us through time as we check in on suspender fashion throughout the ages. At SuspenderStore, we know our stock inside and out, including where it all started. For as long as there have been pants, there has been a need to keep them up and in place. At first this meant lashings on the pants themselves until around the 18th century when suspenders entered the frame. Like garters, these “braces” were never meant to be seen in public until the 1820s, when they were used to hold up high pants. After WWI, suspenders fell out of fashion in favor of the belt that many GI’s had grown used to in their uniforms, and suspenders went back to being undergarments. Doctors even prescribed them in the 1920s to help with posture! Suspenders slipped back into the tough working class, favored by such pop culture staples as the enterprising newsies and mobsters. Suspenders truly entered the fashion world in the 1970s and 80s, when women plucked suspenders from the fashion ether for an androgynous, gender-neutral style. By the late 1980s, women were wearing suspenders for all occasions; dreaming of pulling off that “working women” look made famous by Annie Hall. Decidedly less casually sexy was the entry of suspenders into “nerd culture,” forever heralded by the character Steve Urkel’s “did I do that?” catchphrase on the television show “Family Matters.” With his pants hiked high up on his waist and held in place with suspenders, America’s favorite geek made us fall in love with the fashionable and functional braces once again. To this day, any “geek” costume is bound to feature a set of suspenders inspired by Urkel. When grunge and rap music hit the scene in the 1990s, belts were barely a fashion staple, let alone suspenders. They, once again, faded out of favor until the fashion world stepped up with modern day “hipster culture.” This fashion trend takes nerd culture to a popular place, pulling in other old-timey elements like fedoras and monocles, but still favoring well-constructed and tailored clothes meant for suspenders. And the new alt-geek Steampunk style relies heavily on suspenders, pocket watches, early-aviation flight helmets, gears, goggles and more. The wheel turns round and back again! Ready to join the fashion greats? Take our online quiz to see what kind of suspenders are right for you. Save
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.