Sartorial Dilemmas

Husband has always taken great pride in his leather belts and favorite buckles. For Christmas he asked for a black braided one with a silver buckle. His old braided one is wearing out.

Husband is very fussy about having what he considers just the right belt with just the right trousers. He is concerned, though, about the increasing difficulty he is having keeping his trousers up. He is turning into a skinny old guy. Pants and belts don’t fit the way they used to. He is thinking seriously about investing in suspenders.

He is worried that with suspenders, his shirts won’t stay tucked in the back. He used to wear suspenders in college in the 1970’s, considering them a badge of hippiedom and free thinking Now they are an old guy’s solution to drooping drawers.

What articles of clothing are you particular about? How do clothes fit differently now than in the past? Ever worn suspenders?

49 thoughts on “Sartorial Dilemmas”

  1. I only want my pants to stay up. I don’t have a back porch, nothing for a belt to rest upon. Braces irritate my shoulders, where I already have quite a bit of pain from nerve damage. Losing 45 lbs in the last 18 months solves that. Belt works now. I haven’t unbuttoned my pants in a long time. I just slide them up still buttoned.,
    Several English English words were in the lanaguage of childhood, braces was one of them. I grew up with and like the expression “braces and belt.”
    The HGTV Sandy watches endlessly mostly advertises quack medicines and underwear, especially bras, telling me over and over again about the discomfort of bras. Glad I don’t have that issue.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had to call the Amazom help center, which is is India, which gave me a dose of Indian English. One bit of it. She sent me an email that among other things included the line “My joy in helping you!” That made my morning brighter.
      Speaking of clothing, it must be irritating wearing a sari, don’t you think?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Maybe not irritating, but I know I’d struggle to keep the pallu on my shoulder. Beautiful as sari is, I’d wear salwar-kameez instead, and pin the dupatta in place instead of just draping it!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sari silk is often not soft and drapey but “crunchy”. Robin bought some saris on eBay for the material but beautiful as they were, the texture of the fabric was not what she expected. Japanese silk is usually softer.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Billinmpls, right, taffeta or something like it. I have a couple of tichel from Wrapunzel made of recycled sari fabric, and the stiffness makes them a bit hard for me to handle.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I’m impressed, CG, that you know the names for these foreign clothing items. I had to look all of them up. Are these terms widely known among Americans, and I’m just hopelessly out of the loop?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess I’m particular about color blending – not necessarily matching – and if possible I wear compatible/complementary socks. And since I have no waist at this point, like Clyde, I don’t need to unbutton my pants…

    Also particular in these ways: I choose clothes these days for comfort and the right degree of warmth, and if I’m headed to an unknown environment, I’ll dress in layers – I hate to be either too hot or too cool. I refuse to throw out a favorite top that has a spot I can’t wash out. I’ve been known to embroider over said spot, but now I just hope it’s not too noticeable, or I may explain…

    I don’t recall having ever worn suspenders.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A well dressed man always carries a florid bandana, though not where it can be seen unless pulled out to address an issue.

    The only time I wore suspenders was one winter in the Army (1969) when we were issued heavey woolen overtrousers to keep us from freezing. I found the suspenders to be a mystery.

    The waistlines in such trousers as I own continually shrink, and the buttons at the front tend to come off and get lost.

    I think I’m getting old and thick.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I haven’t changed in size or shape in the last twenty years. I know that because I have pants that old that still fit the way they always did. My wardrobe is unfussy and utilitarian, but I still would not appreciate other people choosing clothes for me as gifts. My preferences are ineffable. I think belts are inexplicably expensive, considering what they are. I have a few, most of them at least a decade old and they have to get pretty scruffy before I would replace them. I have been known to restore them with shoe polish.

    I wore wide suspenders with my jeans for a while back in college but that was a style choice, not a necessity. When we were active in a living history group and dressing in nineteenth century clothing, I wore suspenders because that was appropriate to the costume.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m particular about jeans. I went for several years unable to buy new women’s jeans because they were selling nothing but low-riders, which were not only unflattering but hideously uncomfortable. That was when I first tried men’s jeans, and I loved them–deep, practical pockets, natural waists, fuss-free styling, and the straight legs are actually straight and don’t cling! Fortunately I do not have an hourglass figure, so men’s jeans fit reasonably well; sometimes I have to dig around to find the shorter pairs but it’s worth it. I will never give up those wonderful pockets…

    Liked by 4 people

  6. OT-my work is closed today because of the storm, so I am at home finishing my Christmas baking. Husband’s electric snow blower was delivered late yesterday afternoon. He is studying up on how to use it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I used to wear jeans and a cotton peasant top almost all the time. Jeans don’t fit very well anymore and I’m not as comfortable as I once was in them. Like CG, I don’t like the low riders. I have tried men’s jeans too and I do think they fit better. I remember when Levis jeans were the only kind to wear. We bought them at a men’s clothing store and wore men’s sizes. They do fit better around the tummy and stay up better. I have an easier time with cotton-polyester pants with a wide waist band from Lands End. I can wear a tunic length top over those and it’s much more comfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finding whatever is easy to get on. I’m hanging in there!

      I had some suspenders in my younger years. Just for fun. Now days I’d be hooking my thumb under them and rhapsodizing about this and that.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. How ironic! The 20 something young man from next door just came over with a Bobcat and cleared the driveway before Husband got a chance to use his new snow blower!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I swapped out regular shoelaces on a work boots with pink vinyl welding rod. I didn’t mind the “your gay” teasing from fellow workmates as it let me play this song.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I don’t know that I’d describe myself as having an hour-glass figure, but I’ve never been able to wear men’s jeans. If the waist opening is large enough for my hips to squeeze through, it’s way too large at the waist. Leggings are the way to go for me, for both comfort and warmth. With a tunic – long enough to cover my butt – over them, I’m happy, so long as the top has at least one pocket.

    I have never aspired to be a hippie. I have also never worn suspenders. And, I’ll confess that I have never seen the two as being connected. Are they? I’m probably revealing an appalling lack of paying attention to fashion or trendy details. Can you be out of fashion if you’ve never really been in fashion? I think not!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Plainjane: “I’m impressed, CG, that you know the names for these foreign clothing items. I had to look all of them up. Are these terms widely known among Americans, and I’m just hopelessly out of the loop?”

    I really doubt Americans know about Indian clothing, or much about India in general, but since I talk to very few people I can’t swear to it. I learned the terminology for two reasons. One is that I went through a period of interest in Indian culture and religion back when I was a new vegetarian. The other is that I’m an irredeemable pedant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Obviously, I knew what a sari is, but it had never occurred to me that these other “outfits” had a proper name.

      It occurs to me, that with the presence of so many different cultures in our midst today, we really should take the time to learn the proper name for their clothing. I’m familiar with the terms Hijab and Burqa, and know what they refer to, but I haven’t bothered to learn what many other pieces of clothing I see Muslim men and women wear practically every day.

      It feels a bit dismissive toward these “neighbors” that I haven’t, though it wasn’t intended that way. Good for you, CG, for opening my eyes to this unintentional slight; I’m going to try to fix it.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Both of my wasbands wore suspenders. Wasband number one wore them because I purchased them for him. I haven’t told many stories about him here, but frugal could’ve been a good middle name for him. The thought that he had some thing in the closet or in a drawer that he didn’t wear made him crazy. Wasband number two wore them because he knew I liked them. So Renee, tell hubby that all of the women who were hippies back in the day are still around and still think suspenders are a sexy attire choice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When wasband became a teaching assistant in 1970, the year he got his BA, he adopted the practice of wearing a bow tie, a tweed jacket with suede patches on the elbows, and started smoking a pipe. Guess he was going for the college-English-professor look. After two years of teaching freshman English at SIU, he got his MA in English. Because he never did “student teaching,” however, a requirement for a teaching certificate, he was unable to get a job as a teacher at any level. Too bad, I think he would have been an excellent teacher.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. When I started teaching in 68 coat, tie, dress pants, leather shoes were expected. At second school they were required and a secretary patrolled halls to see that we were. One turned usin for anything including things she invented. One refused to do it. Arthritis was her legitimate excuse. One walked through halls not looking. Then they dropped coat. Somehow ties started disappearing. Then in mid 70s young hires wore jeans. On low salaries it was too expensive. No one changed rules. It was a different age. I flirted with idea of wearing outfits to fit what I was teaching , but I could see the cost. So never did. Some colleagues would have gotten on my case when they were upset for how I changing teaching methods. Would have been fun. But the $

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I had white suspenders, probably still languising in a drawer somewhere. I wore them a few times with white pants and a purple blouse. Suspenders are difficult for women to pull off, though. I think maybe Diane Keaton wore them in her Annie Hall days.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Suspenders

    by Raymond Carver

    Mom said I didn’t have a belt that fit and
    I was going to have to wear suspenders to school
    next day. Nobody wore suspenders to second grade,
    or any other grade for that matter. She said,
    You’ll wear them or else I’ll use them on you. I don’t want any more trouble. My dad said something then. He
    was in the bed that took up most of the room in the cabin
    where we lived. He asked if we could be quiet and settle this
    in the morning. Didn’t he have to go in early to work in
    the morning? He asked if I’d bring him
    a glass of water. It’s all that whiskey he drank, Mom said. He’s

    I went to the sink and, I don’t know why, brought him
    a glass of soapy dishwater. He drank it and said, That sure
    tasted funny, son. Where’d this water come from?
    Out of the sink, I said.
    I thought you loved your dad, Mom said.
    I do, I do, I said, and went over to the sink and dipped a glass
    into the soapy water and drank off two glasses just
    to show them. I love Dad, I said.
    Still, I thought I was going to be sick then and there. Mom said,
    I’d be ashamed of myself if I was you. I can’t believe you’d
    do your dad that way. And, by God, you’re going to wear those
    suspenders tomorrow, or else. I’ll snatch you bald-headed if you
    give me any trouble in the morning. I don’t want to wear
    I said. You’re going to wear suspenders, she said. And with that
    she took the suspenders and began to whip me around the bare legs while I danced in the room and cried. My dad
    yelled at us to stop, for God’s sake, stop. His head was killing him, and he was sick at his stomach from soapy dishwater
    besides. That’s thanks to this one, Mom said. It was then somebody began to pound on the wall of the cabin next to ours. At first it sounded like it was a fist–boom-boom-boom–and then whoever it was switched to a mop or a broom
    handle. For Christ’s sake, go to bed over there! somebody yelled.
    Knock it off! And we did. We turned out the lights and
    got into our beds and became quiet.
    The quiet that comes to a house
    where nobody can sleep.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. suspenders ring, a particular bell with me because my body type has changed enough that that little potbelly that’s got that extra 5 to 10 pounds of fat in it keeps me from being able to sense my belt type enough to keep my pants from sliding off my decreasing hip waist ratio, and so you really have to torque the belt down in order to keep the pants from falling off I love suspenders but like Clyde says they cut into your shoulders, and the option of wearing suspenders for me is limited to the ones that button and not the ones that clamp in with that brass claw configuration that doesn’t work very well or for very long for me, so I need the buttons in the pants which limits the pants that can be used, so I came up with an invention where I bought buttons that are intended to be plugged into a Jean jacket patterns for people who show at home I think, and I drilled a couple holes in my belt and plugged in these buttons so that I can attach the suspenders to them now the pants don’t have to be singed at the belt the belt simply needs to hold the buttons for the suspenders to attach to I find that the suspenders are still cutting but the next time material used for good suspenders isn’t that difficult to tolerate but I am thinking about inventing some suspenders that are like the straps on a briefcase big wide ones that will make you look like the girls with pad and shoulders in the Charlie’s Angels days of 1980. I am kind of a close guy and I like my shoot coats. I like my hats and I like my shoes so the suspenders lit me up, but I had a guy refer to me as the dresser one time when we were in a tour thing, he said all you guys come on along you two guys and then the dresser and I said on the dresser he should look at everybody else in the group they’re wearing T-shirts and blue jeans you got on a sports coat and some boots and I realize that I do dress a little differently


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