Albert Thurston braces this week at the store, including the new-to-us green boxcloth with hand stitched ends in the photograph. Braces of course are anathema to the young, who apparently fear that no woman would ever be attracted to a braces-wearing man. They forget that this is patently untrue or the world would have been depopulated before the second world war. Nonetheless, braces are generally relegated to married suit-wearers, who appreciate that their trousers hang better and remain in place all day without the tugging and general nervousness that is part of the belted trouser experience.
The general preference for belts has relegated braces to the evening, for, thankfully, most men seem to recognize that a belt looks completely out of place with a dinner jacket. This is borne out by sales, as the white moiré Thurston braces that were worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond several years ago come close to outselling all other styles added together these days (and we are re-stocked with those at the store as well).
Once safely married, many men who try braces for the first time are forever after unhappy with their belts. They begin by sewing buttons on to the waistband of their belted trousers, perhaps having the empty loops removed by an alterations tailor. From there they usually migrate to higher waisted trousers, which have a better fall from the natural waist. And since no two tailors make trousers of the same length, the final step is the acquisition of one pair of braces for each suit, so that no adjustment is required to make one's trousers hang perfectly down to the shoes.
Braces being underwear, no color coordination is required with the rest of the day's clothes unless, like the television host Mr. Larry King, a man removes his jacket in public. That said, the aforementioned bottle green boxcloth works particularly well with tweed as well as gray flannel.