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Spring 2014

Accessories Essentials

Accessories Essentials

Belts, suspenders and tie bars, and how to wear them properly.

What do you call a guy who wears a belt and suspenders at the same time? A pessimist.

There are belt guys and there are suspender guys, but usually they don’t overlap. Most men wear belts to hold their pants up because it’s easy and the pants came with belt loops. Some pants come with belt loops and braces buttons inside, but if you wear braces (suspenders), the belt loops may look a little lonely. It’s better to go one way or the other. If you want to wear suspenders, ditch the loops. Any tailor can lop them off in seconds. And, any tailor can put buttons inside your trousers.

Belts vs. Suspenders

Clip on suspenders are basically for outdoorsmen. You can get them in camouflage and they’ll hold up anything. But if you’re wearing tailored trousers, you want to hang them from civilized suspenders that button inside the garment. Why suspenders? Well, there’s a school of thought that trousers look best hung from the shoulders.

Belt width should be appropriate to the trousers. A discreet leather belt always looks right. It’s best to have black and brown leather belts, as your shoes and belt should match.

The Return of Tie Bars & Tie Clips

Lots of guys let their ties fly, but if you’re wearing a jacket, it’s unlikely to go too far. You don’t want your tie hanging in your soup so lots of men, especially those who may wear a jacket to the office but work without it, like to wear a tie bar or clip. There are alternative devices such as the tie-tac, but who wants to put a hole in a beautiful tie? Besides, they might make us feel like we were in a period movie.


Tie bars are back in style. It seems like.

men were itching to find another way to wear something gold or silver, a little discreet bling if you will, and the tie bar, which was de rigueur in the 1940s and ‘50s, seemed to fill the bill perfectly.

All you need to know is that you shouldn’t wear it too high or too low on the tie. If it’s just peeking above your top jacket button, you’re good to go. Or if you’re the discreet type, you may wish to show it only when unbuttoned. But if it’s up there near the knot, there are those of us who will consider you a bit of a bounder and perhaps a cad.