A Brief History of Suspenders

Want to be a know-it-all when it comes to suspenders? This is where you should start.

The famous male orangutan just moments before his momentous invention!

Few people know that the first pair of suspenders was actually worn by a male orangutan while attempting to court a female human. Scientists believe that the orangutan fashioned the makeshift suspenders out of banana peels in order to appear more sophisticated to the woman he was courting.

This story, of course, is entirely fabricated. The real history of suspenders starts in 1822, when they were invented by Albert Thurston. Although Mr. Thurston’s name seems regal enough to be preceded by “Sir,” it is not, sadly.Suspenders were a monumental innovation. People wore the supports religiously, as there wasn’t another competitor to challenge the popular of suspenders. All of this changed with the invention of belts, which quickly usurped suspenders by the mid-1900s.

Today suspenders are worn for fun and fashion as well as function.

All was not lost, however, for the loyal wearers of Thurston’s wares. A noticeable suspender revival has been taking place recently. The movement has been largely spurred by fashion, where everything old undoubtedly becomes new again. Although suspenders aren’t as popular as they once were (and make no mistake—they were the only game in town once), they are in the midst of a comeback. And we think they’re cooler than ever.

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