Friday, December 13, 2013

Suspend Your Doubt

There are so few areas of fun fashion for men that, when I was young, I grabbed all of them.  For example, believe it or not, as a teenager I walked around with a pocket watch on a chain.  I thought it was coolly retro.  I'd whip my watch out, flip open the lid and check the time.  I needed to know the time most often when a pretty girl was around.

The Seventies were a great time for fashion because wild clothes were everywhere.  Every town had a record store and a hippie boutique.  You could blow your mind and dress any way you wanted.  I pushed the envelope for male attire and simply didn't care when people thought my gender-bending was improper.  A newspaper recently described the Seventies as "The Decade Men Stopped Being Men".

There were two pieces of clothing I wore that, in hindsight, seem silly.  Even absurd.  But I liked them then and I like them now.  Only now they're nearly impossible to find. 

Can you imagine what I'm talking about?  Can you guess what obscure old-fashioned clothing I adorned to the opprobrium of many and delight of a few?  Here they are...

1. Suspenders.  Yes, suspenders!  The over-the-shoulder straps that keep your pants from falling down.  In the Seventies, suspenders became briefly popular.  They came in bright colors, stripes and many designs.  Mine were always vivid and fun like these...

2. Vests.  Back then, vests also became briefly fashionable for men.  And not just plain vests but ones with color and funky designs.  Mine were always wild, unlike this tame example...

It amuses me greatly to see stylish young women today sport vests, like this gal...

Would you ever wear vests or suspenders?  Or a pocket watch?


  1. I used to work with a couple of men who ALWAYS wore suspenders and they certainly were men and I guess a couple of them sported pocket watches as well.

    I most certainly would wear a vest but I don't think suspenders would do me any favours although I think they are a super cute fashion item.

  2. Haha! I'm totally photobombing your blog.

    I love the other things you mentioned, too! I'm probably not likely to come across suspenders or a pocket watch + chain at the thrift shop any time soon, but I always have my eye out. It's one of the reasons I like the harness from Megan Mae so well.

    I'll bet you were a happenin' item in the 70s!

  3. This us great Ally!!! I actually own all three of these things you love! X

  4. I'd definitely go for a pocket watch. They are so cool.

  5. I have all three of these too! I am so glad that you weren't mourning the leisure suit. Plus, I found a sort of senryu in your post.

    pocket watch on chain
    flip open lid and check time
    it's coolly retro

  6. Why is it absurd or silly to have liked and still like suspenders, vests and pocket watches? Are you familiar with Keiko's blog? Her boyfriend rocks all three so hard, my husband is even on board to try to recreate some of his outfits! If you love them, wear them!

  7. Yeah, I had a collection of suspenders in the 80s myself! My fav was the rainbow streamer. Never was much into vests.

    I'm thinking they might still sell suspenders, though I haven't looked lately.

    I like the "look" of the 80s more than 70s. Now there is no "look" except the "pull it out of the laundry basket and throw it on and go out along with your unkempt/unwashed hair and sloppy baggy cargo pants ensemble".

    Pretty boring...

  8. I've worn both! I had a great pair of pants with suspenders in high school. They were black and wide legged and I loved them. I also love a good vest. I think it's from watching Labyrinth as a kid. My husband actually digs both of them as well. He has me hunting down a new pair of suspenders now, but man is it hard to find something great online.

  9. Well for a while about 10-13 years ago all the "big wig" lawyers on Bay Street here all wore suspenders. That was a power thing. My husband wanted his dress pants altered so that they would button on the inside waistband. They were made to button into the pants and not clip on. Gordon Gekko style.

    When Mork and Mindy was famous I had a pair of those wild rainbow suspenders that Mork sported. That was ages ago. I think I was about 9.

    My husband has a pocket watch from his father that he will wear out when he wears his 3 piece suits or we are dressed in vintage attire. I love a pocket watch and a good pocket square. Very classy.

    As for vests…I was a vest junkie for years. They are great for women that have larger busts since they help define your waist. I haven't gotten rid of the collection even since I've lost some weight. I have about 6 that I still like to wear every once in a while. They are great layering pieces and I don't think they are ever "really" out of style. In fact I was tempted to buy a leather one at an artisan show this year. Very 1970's style. It was too big. Otherwise I'm sure it might have prompted a bit of flashback memories for you : )

    Plus I guess that leather vests never go out of style for bikers.


  10. Yes, and Yes...I also have my father's pocket watch, but wouldn't ever wear it. I just recently picked up a pair of button on suspenders, but have yet to add the buttons to a pair of trousers. I love the look of suspenders, over-sized vest and pleated trousers...wore it a lot in the Annie Hall days. you've got me thinkin'.

  11. Me too, I agree with Suzanne Carillo Style Files.... I also had Mork and Mindy suspenders and loved them because they were so colorful.. I loved wearing them with a plain black top and jeans... I cant remember how old I was but was pretty young. THEN when I first started sewing I made all kinds of crazy vests... even made a faux fur one that ended up making me look like a sasquatch when I wore it.. hah hah

  12. That's my husband's style. Vests and suspenders and he's totally a fan of pocket watches. I adore suspenders but alas, I'm way too busty for them.

  13. I have a friend who is 65. When he was 17-18 years old he used to drag race. And he did it dressed as an Edwardian gentleman---gloves, cane, pocket watch, vest, suit. He showed me an old black and white picture of himself all tricked out in this outfit in front of his hopped up Ford. I found that incredibly badass!

    I, myself, sported a pocket watch for awhile until I accidently left it on my jeans and the whole thing went through the washer :(

  14. I adore vests on men and women :)

  15. I have a pocket watch, so yes I definitely love them! Vests, always on both men and women. Suspenders, I believe they are starting to come back again, I've been seeing them around Vancouver!

  16. I wear vests frequently! My husband wears them as well, and one of my very early gifts to him was a vintage 1920s pocket watch. He's never liked suspenders and they don't work as well on me (boob issues, lol). I see them in thrift stores all the time, though.

  17. Oh YES!!! I used to wear my grandfather's braces until I gave them to a friend who was, um, generously sized and belts didn't help him. And the first piece of clothing I voluntarily mad was a grey waistcoat. I've noticed a lot of modern ones have quite high necklines at the back, so I may end up making myself another one...

  18. I have a pocket watch. I have vests - I am only missing the suspenders!

  19. Ally, I find it odd that you don't see much of these items, where I see them all of the time! Probably because my area is overrun with hipsters, but this sort-of attire is pretty common. One of my friends wears vintage suits with vests all of the time. And the guys in my wedding all wore suspenders (though, the ones you see out-and-about are much more fancy).

  20. I actually own suspenders and vests! I LOVE vests. I've been meaning to make some new ones. As for pocket watches, I've never owned one, but I do think they're cool.