Traditional Attire Group - AccessoriesAccessories

Braces

Button-on braces are a must for traditional-style suits, enabling the trousers to hang properly, and also securing traditional type undergarments. Fortunately such braces are still widely available. However, ‘clip-on’ braces are an anathema, and are unacceptable in any circumstances. There is no excuse for such a lapse of taste, since most dry-cleaners will sew braces buttons on to trousers for a modest charge.

Colour and design are a matter of personal choice, but plain or muted designs work best. ‘Box-cloth’ braces of thicker material, whose ends hang loose, are a particular favourite.

Top hat Black

These are what they say. Circles - usually of ribbed metal (silver or bronze-coloured) – which when expanded fit closely around each arm just above the elbow, and keep the cuffs of the shirt from excessive length. Simple and very traditional, they are still sold at the more distinguished menswear shops. Those made of cloth are not advised, as they quickly lose shape.

Sock suspenders

Nothing epitomises traditional attire better than sock-suspenders. Once well-nigh universal, the advent of elasticated and self-supporting socks has reduced their popularity down to the hard core of gentlemen who care about formal attire. For this reason, and also because - like underwear - they are never normally on public display, sock-suspenders carry an erotic charge out of all proportion to their actual significance!

Cuff Links

Though an integral part of traditional town attire, cuff-links have much wider appeal for business and formal wear generally, a happy survival together with the double-cuff shirts which they complement. Thus they are widely available in a myriad styles and patterns. The authentic traditional version consists of two similar pieces for each cuff, linked by a chain. The only sure way known to man of inserting these chain-type cuff-links, is to place them in the cuffs before putting the shirt on – not as awkward as it sounds, and saving time and curses!

Nightshirs

Not exactly ‘accessories’, but worth mentioning nevertheless, this evocative and very traditional nightwear is also very practical, a one-piece garment guaranteeing ready access! A matching nightcap would perhaps be an affectation too far, but are still obtainable, as are – more widely – the traditional flannel or cotton nightshirt, preferably with narrow stripes, and undoubtedly the most dignified of nocturnal attire.

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