Brace Builder by Hunt & Holditch (1840)

Brace Yourself

This is rather fun. Hunt & Holditch of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, have added the Brace Builder to their web site to allow you to design a pair of braces.

First of all you choose a width between 18mm and 38mm. You then choose a fabric from the range available in that width, with the fixings (fobs, clips or combination) and levers of your choice. I created the ones above by way of example.

A whizzy idea, but that's as far as I could get. I was expecting to step through and buy my braces, which would then be made in Huddersfield and shipped down to Somerset. I would then take a snap of my wearing them in a lovely setting — quite probably taking afternoon tea at Bovey Castle on Dartmoor.

I could be doing something wrong, but it appears that you need to be an approved retailer to purchase your creation. If so, I do hope this facility is opened up and simplified — fair enough if the retail price differs from the wholesale price — so that we can create and purchase braces directly that are just right for a pair of trousers that so desperately needs them.

How do you match braces? First of all, the fobs should match or complement the colour of the shoes. The colour of the brace straps should reflect the colours used in the entire outfit, matching or contrasting with the colours used elsewhere. You can have brace buttons sewn in to trousers to attach the fobs, though purists would say you should only use braces for trousers made for braces alone, and that means no belt hoops and a high waist.  Others will see no issue with a more multi-functional approach, with trousers that can accommodate braces and belts for different occasions and outfits. I had a suit made once with belt hoops, side-adjusters and brace buttons — perhaps that was a little excessive, but it did give a lot of flexibility. The tailor certainly didn't discourage me.


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