With the fit of men’s trousers much improved and the introduction of the self-supporting waistband, it looked like the long and triumphant reign of braces over its underling trousers was over.
However, this remarkably proved not to be the case which shows the grip they had on trousers was extremely difficult to shake off. Braces began to be worn to define a look or style by certain groups of society.
The skin-heads of the Sixties and Seventies wore braces as an integral part of their “street look”, and along with the drainpipe jeans, granddad shirts, Doc Marten this became an outfit of subversive menace.
Red braces became synonymous with the financial sector after the film “Wall Street” was released in 1987. Michael Douglas, who starred as Gordon Gekko sported a pair to repeat his mantra that “greed was good”. Red braces were so associated with the banking industry that when Sir Ken Morrison (then Chairman of Morrisons’s supermarkets) went cap in hand to the city in 2004 to raise capital, he decided to pop on a pair.
Red braces, even today, seem to attract a following – here’s the latest squeeze of Kate Winslet, Ned Rocknroll, wearing a thin pair of braces to impress her.
Bright braces took a colourful and childish accent – Robin Williams’ rainbow coloured braces added to the gentle charms of his character Mork in the TV series, Mork and Mindy.
And of course, braces remained a staple of elderly gents’ wardrobes – here’s a pic of my great-grandad (born in the reign of Queen Victoria) who didn’t eschew his braces, even on the beach in 1959.
If you are a fan of braces then the place to go is Albert Thurston, available from their website or other outfitters. They have been supplying braces since 1820 and they have a magnificent range. Check out this pair of Blue Angels and Red Devils (with its traditional black goatskin ends and hand polished brass fittings) and you can literally have the devil on your shoulder!
For the evening, there’s this luxurious pair of white moiré, braid ends and white leather joints which Daniel Craig wore, with dinner jacket, bow tie and dress shirt in Casino Royale.
Yet however fancy the braces are, they still have the practical capabilities of keeping one’s trousers aloft. This fact was patently forgotten by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Colin Hall last year.
As His Worship attended an educational event with pupils from three local schools present, he suffered an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction and his trousers slid down to his knees.
As a Leicester City council spokesman succinctly put it; “He was not wearing a belt and his trousers came loose and fell”.
The abashed Councillor Hall perhaps should reflect that a belt and braces attitude is possibly the best way to approach life.
Too Sexy for my Pants.
NBC recently declined to make a full length series of WonderWoman, based on the recent pilot which starred Adrianne Palicki as the heroine.
No wonder when you remember Lynda Carter as the original TV kick-arse lass, back in the Seventies. We all loved Lynda for her all-American looks, her steely blue eyes and of course that fantastic figure in that satin bustier and natty little satin shorts bedecked with stars.
Contrast that with the picture here of Adrianne, galloping down the street, ready to lasso some villains, wearing leggings! Yes, wrinkly old leggings! And also wearing a PVC bra which is clearly tackier than some sticky-backed plastic from Blue Peter.
Is there any guy on earth who actually prefers leggings to shorts? Shorts are sexy and teasing – and the clue is they’re called hotpants. Leggings, on the other hand are, well, pants.
When Lord Flashheart of Black Adder fame, said: “I have an idea and it’s hotter than my pants”, he was not referring to leggings. Leggings are for Baldricks and should stay where they belong – preferably in the Dark Ages.
By Miss Dandy