Belts or braces – 4 things to consider

09 September 2016
Belts or braces – 4 things to consider
We all love a good accessory or 2 to complete our looks – but sometimes deciding what to go with can be a tricky task. For example a watch with a leather strap or a bracelet? Metal cufflinks or fabric cufflinks? A neck tie or a bow tie? or even the decision between a belt or braces?

That’s right, having seen braces make a real comeback into mainstream fashion in recent years, the decision between which to go with to hold your trousers up (or at least appear to do so) has become even harder. Thankfully we’re here on hand to help you not only decide which to go with but how to make sure it’s suited to your body.

Can’t wear tight trousers

First thing’s first, if you’re unable to wear tight trousers as result of health problems or simply don’t like the manner in which they hug the hips, then we’d recommend you opt for braces. Braces allow you to wear your trousers a little looser as they tend to hold them at a consistent height without the worry of them dropping low every time you move.

Suiting your body

Now either accessory can be worn to suit the body, however if you have a larger waist then braces can help to provide a more comfortable fit. Since trousers are usually worn a little higher up when help by braces, they can be worn at the slimmer part of your waist.

In terms of the style of each accessory you need to think similarly to how some would about ties. If you’re a broader gentleman then opt for braces or a belt which is wider, and vice versa if you are slimmer. This isn’t a strict rule however it’ll help to ensure they don’t look out of place.

The look you want to achieve

If you’re wearing the accessory with the intention of it adding to your look then you’ll want to consider how visible each of the 2 are. If braces are worn with a three-piece suit or even a double breasted jacket they’re unlikely to be seen. In this instance you might be better suited to wear a belt which will at least be on show in glimpses even if it is worn with a jacket. However, if subtlety is what you’re after and you want to complete a minimal look then braces can make for the perfect accompaniment. As mentioned, they can be worn rather easily without being on show and when put together in a three piece suit they can also help to avoid your shirt creeping out from under your waistcoat.

The occasion

When it comes to deciding which one of the accessories is more formal it doesn’t really pose as a question worth asking. The simple fact is that either item can be worn for formal or informal occasions. It’s the style and colour you opt for which will help to tailor each accessory to the event. As we’ve mentioned previously for smart looks match your belt to your shoes, and similarly for braces keep the colour understated although matching them to your footwear isn’t a must.

On a final note…

You might realise that this whole article has stressed on wearing either one or the other. Whatever you do make sure you don’t end up wearing both a belt and braces. While it’s not a common sight (for good reason), there are people who make the mistake of doing so which only ever leaves them turning heads for the wrong reasons.

Your accessories along with how you feel when wearing your clothes can make or break your look, that’s why we recommend you try both before deciding which to opt for.

Abbas Mahmood
Abbas Mahmood
As a lifelong purveyor of fashion, Abbas has been writing for Hemingway Tailors for 2 years, keeping readers up to date with style trends and delivering a regular insight into the world of tailoring.
Sign Up
Exclusive offers, news & updates from Hemingway Tailors
First name:
Last name: