Brace, Brace, Brace
I never thought that I would be the kind of person who would wear braces. When I was younger, I probably thought that they were for old people, something they hadn’t let go of. I admit now that I was wrong!
James Bond has worn white Moiré braces with his evening suits in Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre. In Casino Royale the clasps are a gilt (gold) colour and in Skyfall they are a nickel (silver). The nickel clasp braces are the ones that I bought some 7 years ago.
In the blue box that they come in you get a presentation piece that displays two arms of the braces, and a small packet of 6 buttons, which you can get your tailor to insert into the waistband of the trousers of your choice.
Read the interview with costume designer for Casino Royale Lindy Hemming in the book From Tailors With Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films, available on Amazon.
Some minor adjustments
The braided ends on the braces attach to the buttons on inside of the waist band. The braces can then be adjusted using the clasps to fit the wearer. After a little time, you then forget that you are wearing braces. If you’ve adjusted correctly.
On the reverse side on the clasps, you will see ‘Albert Thurston’ stamped on the back. Also, on the back you will see a little union flag. The braces are made in Leicester, near Frog Island, which I’ve only recently found out (having previously lived in Leicester for 13 years).
Historically braces were a necessity, but now they are more of a statement item. In the 7 years the braces are in excellent condition. That is mostly due to the fact that I only tend to wear them with my evening suit, and I don’t have many opportunities to do that.
I also have a pair in navy, which were given to me by Mason & Sons, with the purchase of my first suit from them. Again, I didn’t tend to wear these that much either, as many of my suit trousers do not have brace buttons inside them.
This could be easily rectified, by going to my local tailor and having brace buttons put into the waistband of all my trousers. However, that wasn’t the issue.
It’s all in the mind
Like I said, braces are now more of a statement piece than a necessity. Which is fine with my evening suit. When it comes to my day suits, I don’t need them. Either my trousers have side adjusters or belt loops.
It could be that all of this was just in my mind. When I think about it wearing a suit and a tie nowadays could be said to be a statement in itself. Most office environments don’t require them, where suits are worn it’s usually without a tie. So, am I already making a statement by wearing a shirt and tie?
With images from No Time To Die coming out from Matera last year shows Bond wearing some Dove Grey braces (also by Albert Thurston) with his baby soft corduroy suit, braces have seem to have made a bit of a comeback. All of a sudden, braces are being worn with suits, smart and casual trousers.
Give it a go
Although my mind hadn’t fully changed in terms of wearing braces all the time, I have, on occasion tried out wearing braces with my day suits. I did feel a bit nervous about doing so, but once my jacket was off, no one really paid much attention. I suppose my work colleagues were used to the guy who dresses up for the workday. Honestly, I did like wearing them, although I wouldn’t do it all the time.
Since the pandemic I’ve hardly worn a suit. So, going back to an office and wearing a suit would be ideal. With the braces? Well, I’ve changed jobs, so maybe I should let them get used to a man in a suit, shirt and tie on a daily basis before throwing in braces to boot!
Where to buy?