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The Evolution of Suspenders. Suspender belts can be traced back to the eighteenth century at which time they were used primarily to hold the pants/ trousers up. The manufacturers used ribbon strips to make the suspenders which were attached to pants and trousers using buttonholes. In these olden days, they were only worn as an undergarment so as not to be indecent. Present day suspenders – also known as braces, first came into existence in the early nineteenth century. It was Albert Thurston who first designed these belts. They were attached with leather loops. There have been different designs of the male suspenders. These designs are classified according to the method of attachment to pants or by the shape formed at the back. For instance the earliest designs mainly formed an H at the back by joining the braces. Later designs crossed to form the letter X and the most recent were Y-shaped. According to the second classification about the method of attachment, buttonholes were the earliest design adopted. The method of attachment has also evolved from buttonholes to leather straps and later to metal clips. Materials used to make them has also changed over time. The manufacturers have been able to use different kinds of materials over time, they began with ribbons and later to woven wool. This material was also known as box cloth. Despite using different materials all suspenders served the same purpose; holding up trousers. It was only high waist trousers that were considered fashionable then, and therefore belts were not typical. As a result of the trousers being so high waist only the braces could be used to hold them in place.
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There are famous and influential people who cannot be left out when talking about the history of suspenders. Additionally it is such famous people as these who first designed and manufactured the suspenders. These earlier designs have only undergone a little changes since their introduction into the clothing industry. The founding father of suspenders is Albert Thurton who designed and manufactured the first braces. The H-Shaped suspender was first introduced to be worn by men in the fire department by Benjamin Franklin. Adjustable and detachable straps patent was however awarded to mark and Samuel in the year 1971.
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Famous people who wore and embraced the suspenders fashion include; actors Humphrey Bogart and Ralph Richardson who wore them frequently in their movies. With the advent of the twentieth century, young British men began using braces as fashion statements. Working class women also adopted this subculture, and it gave braces a unisex appeal. To date, some iconic figures such as television broadcasters still adorn this attire with all glamor.