Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Return of the Light Blue Pants

When I was a little boy I had a pair of light blue dress pants. The pants were high-waisted - which was the trend at the time - with the waistline sitting around my belly button. They were held up with clip-on Y-back suspenders that were also light blue. I remember wearing them for holidays or going to church.

Jump ahead 20 years in time. While at a thrift store, I come across a strikingly similar pair of light blue dress pants, although in an adult size and without the suspenders. When I saw them, my childhood memories of wearing the light blue pants immediately came to mind. I couldn’t resist them.

Vintage blue pants this diamond braces
The pants did not come with suspenders but that's not a problem. This time I decided to wear the pants with braces, instead of clip-on suspenders. I removed the belt loops and sewed 6 suspender buttons on the waistline. I decided to sew them on the outside (rather than the inside) of the waistband to go with the vintage style of the high waist pants. Buttons on the outside are very traditional. I liked the look of the suspender buttons against the brace tabs, especially the brown color - here a close-up:
Exterior suspender buttons against the brown brace tabs

The diamond pattern in the shirt complement the diamond braces.

Rear shot of braces

I love the look and feel of the pants; they are vintage and make a statement!

Discussion time:
  • Did you wear suspenders growing up?
  • Do you continue to wear suspenders, or stopped after childhood?


  1. I did wear them growing up for a while. Before starting school, maybe 4 years old, for some reason I decided I didn't like belts and kicked up enough of a fuss, that Mom gave up and bought me a pair of suspenders. GPs caught on and I kept getting a pair for that practical Bday or Xmas present. No one bothered to ask me about them until a couple of years later. By then whatever bothered me about belts had gone away, no one but me wore them, so I stopped wearing them.

    When I was in eighth grade my family got into a fairly serious car accident, everyone survived but the doctors had to patch and reinsert everything between my waist and ribcage back into me. For a couple of months while everything healed I had some temporary outdoor plumbing that required wearing loose pants and shirts and couldn't use a belt. For the first couple of days I wore the suspenders under my shirt. My friends eventually caught on and the suspenders got outed. My GF at the time liked them so I just wore them on the outside from then on.

    When the extra plumbing was removed and the need for the suspenders to keep my pants up when away, everyone had gotten used to seeing them, I had gotten to like them so I kept wearing them occasionally. I've kept them as part of my wardrobe since then.

  2. I did wear them growing up quite a bit, mostly because my pants tended to be 2nd hand from my older brothers and relatives; they usually didn’t quite fit me. To be fair I liked suspenders and on the odd days that I was wearing pants that didn’t need them to stay up I’d wear suspenders anyway. Realistically it was a win-win. It didn’t take long until it was pretty much taken for granted that I wore suspenders not belts, nobody thought much about it. I distinctly remember one Christmas my grandparents took me and my brothers shopping at a department store. We went down one aisle and my brothers got told they could each pick a belt for a Christmas present. Then we went down another aisle so I could pick the suspenders I wanted and “gee whiz” because suspenders were cheaper than belts I got to pick two pair. At age 12-ish I decided I hated suspenders, mainly because no one else wore them so I kicked up a fuss about it and didn’t wear them again for several years. I rediscovered them when I went to a high school Halloween dance as a 1920’s gangster (fedora, double breasted suit, wide tie, plastic tommy gun etc.) with my girlfriend. I started wearing them again, and they’ve been a pretty regular part of my wardrobe since then.

    1. @Anonymous: thanks for sharing your comments and memories of suspenders. Suspenders are great for keeping pants up when you are young and have over-sized pants.

      Your experience of going through a period of not wearing suspenders, starting around age 12, is very common. I had a similar experience and others have shared this experience on this blog. What's interesting is that suspenders make a comeback sometime in the future - either at a vintage-dressed party like you described, a wedding, a girlfriend's encouragement, or someone in the family who wears them. People rediscover the benefits of wearing suspenders and are comfortable with being themselves. Enjoy wearing suspenders!

  3. I did wear suspenders growing up,mainly because they were a necessary part of the shorts suit which I wore to church,going out to dinner and other formal type occasions.This was worn with grey knee high socks and plain black lace up school shoes.I wore this until about age forward about 20 years,I began wearing them again as I remembered how much more comfortable they were compared to belts.I have remained a braces wearer ever since.

  4. I don't remember wearing braces as a small boy, but photos discovered recently showed me in them from about age 4. At secondary school (11 - 18), whilst they were not mainstream, a number of lads in my class wore them, and since my parents obviously wanted to buy pants which would last a while, mine were too loose to wear without braces, so I was one of them. At least they kept my shirt tucked in so I did not receive any detentions! Our uniform was a grey blazer, grey flannel pants, with a white or grey shirt and maroon tie, so my maroon button on braces (with leather tabs) looked quite smart, and I never received any ribbing from my mates. At Uni I continued to wear braces on my jeans as they were comfortable, and although in a minority the ladies seemed to like them!
    Now in my 20's and working in an office, I still like to wear braces with my suits, although I did get some stick from my colleagues at first. I have no qualms at wearing clip-on ones as they are narrower (1 inch or so) which suit my thin frame. Having been patented in 1894, they are just as classic as the button ones and in my opinion look smarter. I just wish more guys would give them a try - it is only a matter of overcoming that little bit of self-consciousness!

    1. I thought wearing suspenders was pretty cool going through school. By 2nd grade except for picture day no one wore them. I had a few dustups with some people that had issues with my individuality, for the record my dustup win-loss record was above 0.500.

      By the way you missed a benefit and additional disadvantage in one of your earlier blogs. They were a definite advantage in a spit ball fight. I could fire ping-pong sized wet one across the class room accurately off my right strap, every one else was stuck with pea sized ones they could fire out of bic pen. Mom got pretty mad when one day I thought it was a good idea to soak the spitball in grape soda before firing it off. On the other hand they really sucked when it came to hanging my genuine star wars approved light sabre from them. Though I could do a pretty awesome over-the-shoulder draw when I hung the light sabre from the suspender cross piece on my back. The downside was that when I drew it was always 50/50 whether the light sabre would come out of the scabbard or I got wedgie.

      I kind of like that suspenders are rare, they're kind of my thing without being too far out of the social norms. As for self conscious aspect of it. The way I look at it is if after putting them on in the morning you didn't think for a fraction of a second you were pretty cool then you probably should just stick with a belt. Suspenders are all about the road less traveled.

  5. Nice guide and very up to date. I ended up getting my suspenders from here.

  6. thank you for sharing bro, I love your post


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