Saturday, August 4, 2012

Braces with Shorts

Summer is a great time to show off your love of braces and suspenders. The hot weather means that you are wearing fewer layers of clothing, and so your braces will be on display all day. They are a conversation starter as well as an accessory to add that extra touch to an outfit.

When shorts are worn with braces they are suspended at the waist. This provides roominess around the waist which increases air circulation and reduces heat buildup – perfect for hot summer days!

But before you start snapping on a pair of suspenders to all your shorts, you should consider the nature of braces. One may argue that all shorts could be supported with suspenders. Taken to the extreme, you may say that males should wear suspenders with a bathing suit! That is simply comical and looks ridiculous. I am not arguing for a blanket approach to wearing braces.

So how should you wear braces with shorts? First, you should remember that suspenders are more formal in nature than a belt. Belts conjure up images of a working man; braces invoke a sense of sophistication. Braces and suspenders are simply more formal than belts. Therefore, to wear suspenders or braces with your shorts, you should do it when the occasion is more formal, such as at garden party or outdoor theater. 

Second, shorts are associated with athletic wear and physical exercise. It’s generally desired to have less articles of clothing when playing sports rather than more. Who wants to provide their opponent with the opportunity to snap their suspenders while running after a soccer ball, for instance.

Whenever you wear braces, they will speak for themselves. So be mindful of the design and style you wear. They should be simple, with solid colors or strips – no pastels or graphic designs. Here are some suggestions for achieving this look:

 Retailers are attaching straps to shorts this year, especially for females. Here's some examples:

If you want to get a Train Conductor look, you can add a pair of braces to stripped, blue shorts. Red braces will definitely catch someone's attention:

Discussion time:
1. Would you wear braces with shorts?
2. Do you find wearing suspenders in the summer to improve air flow or not?

Note: all photos are used solely for non-commercial use and to illustrate braces in fashion. No plagiarism is intended.


  1. Honestly I was a little skeptical about men wearing suspenders with shorts. I had visions of rodeo clowns and large germen men in lederhosen. But what you said in the essay made sense and was worth a try. I prefer wearing suspenders and if I can wear them with shorts without looking dorky so much the better. In August I had 3 week business trip so I decided to give the shorts and suspenders an honest try. I thought that if it turned out to be a fashion disaster it would be in a place where no one knows me.

    For casual after work wear, I did the casual T-shirt, cargo short and suspenders look to movies, shopping malls coffee bistros and around the hotel. No one said anything, I didnt really notice that anyone noticed.

    Regarding being cooler I would have to respectfully disagree. I think its about same. Your right you get air circulation about your waist so that part is cooler, but the trade is that you dont get as much around your back and shoulders because the straps press down and cut off the air flow.

    With the casual part out of the way. I decided to try them in more dressy settings. I wore suspenders with flat fronted shorts, with dress long sleeve shirts to several upscale clubs. My suspenders got snapped many times by women as they passed by me. The really great part is that they would turn back and smile at me. I took that as a sure fire invitation to chat with them and ask them to dance. All of them really noticed the suspenders and commented on them without me saying anything. They all liked the look, thought it was daring and not one of them said it looked "cute". Cute = juvenile

    Finally I tried it a couple of times wearing a tie. Pretty much got the same reactions from the opposite sex, they really liked it. Personally I didnt like it much and not so much because of the suspenders. I just think a tie with shorts with or without suspenders looks a little goofy like a 1950's era english school boy. Thats defintely not the look Im going for in an upscale nightclub.

    It was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. I wore a cargo short and suspenders on the airplane trip back home and have been wearing it since without much of thought. You have a convert on this one.

    1. @Anonymous: Great to hear that your experience with shorts and suspenders was a success! Its always encouraging to hear people try suspenders, and do it with style, and discover the benefits for themselves.

      You mention that your visions of shorts and suspenders started with rodeo clowns and lederhosen. These have tarnished the image of suspenders. This is changing is fashion, and we are now seeing suspenders in casual men's and women's wear.

      You mention that suspenders increase body heat around your back and shoulders. I agree with this, however, I'd rather have that than sweat buildup around your waist. It comes down to personal preference.

      You also discovered the secret that women like men wearing suspenders. If only the rest of the male population can figure that out!
      Happy suspender wearing!

    2. While I agree braces probably look better with trousers,I dont see why they cant work with shorts.I find braces and shorts teamed with long socks and black shoes are acceptable in most formal settings.But definitely no tie.

    3. I too was skeptical at first,however after a time of wearing them there is no reason why braces cant work with shorts.However the more formal nature of braces means that I will always team them with long socks and black lace up shoes.I am still tossing up as to whether they would work with sandals.

    4. I have recently begun to wear braces with shorts and there is no reason why they cannot be worn together.Shorts with braces,coupled with long socks and brown leather sandals is a sensible and comfortable option for summer.

  2. I wear suspenders with shorts frequently during warmer months.Tailored shorts,suspenders and long socks are very appropriate for this time of year.For more formal occasions I wear plain black lace up shoes,for casual events I would chose a pair of leather sandals.

  3. Initially I questioned the pairing of braces and shorts,however after a summer of wearing them there is no reason why they cant work.I do think that they can be a hard look to get right.I do think they need to be worn with a collared shirt,and for me long socks are also a must.Would love to know what others think.

    1. I'm the person that wrote that 1st comment to this article back in 2012. I questioned the entire idea of shorts and suspenders at the time, but since then I've worn the combination regularly.

      Regarding your other comments respectfully I have to disagree, I don't find it hard combination at all. Typical for me is cargo shorts, tshirt and either sandals or tennis shoes. I don't think long socks or a collar shirts are a MUST.

      I typically use the below the ankle variety of socks. Personal preference but the long socks/shorts combination make me think of the Captains uniform on the 80's American TV "Love Boat" series or a 1950's era English school boy uniform. I think the Australian Navy has a white uniform that features shorts and long socks. To me wearing long socks kind of defeats the purpose of wearing shorts in the first place.

      Collared shirt, I typically wear colored t-shirts but no reason not to wear a collared shirt or a polo shirt for that matter. I've certainly done it and I don't shy away from it but I don't think its a "must" either.

      As I mentioned in the original response, I have worn a collared shirt and tie with shorts and suspenders a few times to more dressy occasions. I'm not a big fan of it but in the right place its a lot of fun, definitely gets you noticed and women in general seem to like it. I think mostly because its different from most everyone else.

      Personally I think there are too many rules about wearing suspenders. The leather must match the shoes, they are underwear and shouldn't be seen, don't wear clips ons etc etc etc. I really think that you can wear suspenders anywhere you can wear a belt. The only requirement I have is that it doesn't clash with the rest of your outfit. Basically the same sort of thinking that goes with picking a tie for a suit and shirt combination is all that's really necessary.

  4. I wear suspenders with short pants as a belt alone does not hold my pants up. I only wear short pants as my mom gets me all my clothes.
    Anonymous school boy1.

  5. there is nothing too unusual about braces being worn with shorts.I did not wear long trousers until I was about 13-14.I was always short for my age and my parents considered that shorts were more appropriate particularly for occasions like church or going out.As a result I was used to wearing suit shorts with braces and grey knee high socks.


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