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 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!

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  4. 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.


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