Before the game gets down to braces

Esquire, February 1938: “This father and son contest has apparently just begun, to judge from the length of their cigars and has not yet reached that coat-divesting warm-up stage which would reveal the players stripped down to their braces.

You just know they wear the latter, however, as there’s no other accounting for the perfect hang of the trousers which, while permitting an easy, natural break above the instep, are yet hiked up so trimly about the, as it were, breech as to assure the wearer against ever being classified as a droopy drawers.

The suit on the left is a sharkskin cut in a single-breasted peak lapel style with the British blade effect of extra fullness at the shoulders. The other is an unfinished worsted four-button double-breasted, worn rolled to the bottom button. Note the unflapped piped pockets on both suits. Also note that both men wear the currently favoured white starched collar with a striped shirt.”

Without getting into a long discussion here, I have a bespoke suit with braces and I find them both uncomfortable and unattractive – the latter precisely for the moment decribed here, when one removes one’s jacket. Of course, if a man always wore a waistcoat it was not a problem. Elsewhere, I love the sharkskin three-piece and that might suit well a grey commission that is coming up in November. I’ve never taken to bird’s eye and I already have a herringbone. And if I were ever to have a bespoke shirt with contrasting collar, the body would have a faint stripe, as worn here. So much subtler than a plain colour.