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History of Suspenders

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  • ravenswingsaussi
    There was a discussion which popped up in my Living History group this past weekend that asked the time-appropriateness of the usage of suspenders for helping
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22, 2008
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      There was a discussion which popped up in my Living History group this
      past weekend that asked the time-appropriateness of the usage of
      suspenders for helping to hold up knee-breeches. The time period this
      LH group does is 1750's in the Louisiana Province of New France.

      I don't ever remember coming across references or research showing
      suspenders of any sort in the 17th or 18th Century during my time in
      theatre. The earliest I've seen suspenders was during the
      Empire/Directoire period when full-length pants came into vogue. And
      even then, I don't really remember seeing much use until the 1820's or
      '30's, mainly in farmers and other people outside the fashion scene
      who do work for a living--the working class.

      Has anyone heard of suspenders being used during the 1700's or
      earlier? Seen research?

      In the Living History world, authentic construction and wear is best,
      because the audience is very close. The whole purpose of doing Living
      History is to give as accurate an example of the life back then as
      possible. True, many fudge a bit and use modern conveniences where
      practical, and keep them well-hidden. But things like zippers and
      other such closures are strictly prohibited except where and when
      zippers came into being. Others are very conscientious of
      period-correctness in everything. And this thinking applies to all
      time periods reenacted. This is why I like costuming in Living
      History as opposed to the theatre world. Being authentic and as real
      as possible. ^_^

      --Sarah
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