Suspenders can be attached to trousers in two ways. One can make use of the clips, that allows you to attach the braces to each type of pants, from daily jeans to classic chino. Others prefer to make use of leather straps that can be attached to buttons on your trousers. The former is called clip-on suspenders, the latter button-on suspenders.
The best way to wear suspenders is a very topical discussion. This obviously crucial debate about buttons versus clips, turns often emotional as it is about the real traditions of suspenders. In rank of importance, this matter is classified according to experts right behind the question ‘does pineapple belong on pizza. But given the growing interest in suspenders in 2021 the discussion gets even more pertinent.
Luckily, Baron Bretelle allows you to choose between both options thanks to an invisible but handy system to change clips and leather straps. It’s totally up to you to decide yourself what suspender style you prefer. In this article, we advise you on how to prepare your pants for button-ons in 5 simple steps.
What you will need:
- 6 buttons with a diameter of 14mm.
- Needle and thread.
- A ruler
- Pants or trousers you’d like to wear with suspenders. For example the pants you’ll wear on a wedding, or classy tuxedo pants.
- 50 minutes of your time
- A tailoring degree or professional experience is definitely not needed. This is your chance to astonish family and friends with your sewing skills.
Let's get started.
Buttons on the inside or outside?
First of all, you need to decide if you want to wear the buttons on the inside or on the outside of your pants. If you’re asking for the humble opinion of Baron Bretelle, this is an easy one. Buttons on the outside are considered “m’a tu vue”, so we believe inside buttons are much more tactful and classy.
Distance between the buttons.
The connection between the buttons on pants and the suspenders is made with a leather strap, the suspender tab. Because of its shape, it’s sometimes nicknamed ‘Rabbit ears’ or ‘Moustache’. Now you have to decide how wide apart you want the buttons to be. If you decide to put the buttons far apart, the strap will be less visible, while if you sew the buttons close, the strap will have an inverted U shape. For Baron Bretelle suspenders, a good distance between the buttons is 8 to 10 centimeter. Let’s continue this example with 8 centimeter.
Position the buttons at the back of the trousers
Start with attaching the two buttons on the back of your pants. You want to put them in the middle of the waist band. Ideally, the waistband is double thick, so you won’t see the thread on the outside of the pants. As mentioned above, a good distance between the two buttons is about 8 centimeters apart. Split that 8 centimeter difference in two times 4 centimeter on on both sides of the center of your waist band.
Go out 4 centimeter out of the center, to put the first button. Place the button approximately 2 centimeter from the top. Once you found the good spot, sew on the first button. Next, measure 4 centimeter from the center to sew the second. That should be 8 centimeters from the first button. Sew on the second button.
How to sew on a button?
Start with threading the needle. We recommend doubling the thread to make the process quicker and easier. Go through all 4 holes in an X pattern. Try to go through the inside of the waistband only, in order to avoid the thread being visible on the outside of the pants. If double threaded, go 4 times through each hole. Finish by wrapping the thread six times around the thread between the button and the material to strengthen the shank created.
Stitch the buttons to the front.
Finally decide on the position of the buttons on the front side. This is a bit personal on how you would like your suspenders to fit. There’s a few ways to find a good spot for the buttons.
- Fit on your pants. Follow a straight line down from the middle of your shoulder, where the suspender will fit. This spot is the center of the leather strap. Measure 4 centimeter to the left and to the right from this spot to position the buttons.
- If you don’t want to fit on your pants, one button is often positioned at the first belt loop from the center. The second button goes 8 centimeters towards the side. As a reminder, the buttons should be 8 centimeters apart.
- A third way is to measure the distance between the side and the zipper of the pants. The suspender strap will go right in the middle. Once you found the middle, measure once again 4 centimeters to each side to position the buttons.
Line the button up with the other buttons on the garment, approximately 2 centimeters from the top. Sew on 2 buttons on each side of the front of the pants.
A huge congratulations, you’re done and ready to wear your button-on bretelles!
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