A pair of Albert Thurston braces, new in the box with a price tag from the Andover Shop is a rare enough thrift store find. When they're bright orange with white leather fittings, it's awe inspiring. I wish I could claim credit for digging these up, but that honor belongs to Zach. After a bit of cajoling, I managed to talk him into trading for a pair of black watch trousers and a vintage shantung tie from J. Press. (Zach and I trade thrift store finds with some frequency. Look for an upcoming series of posts about our swaps)
Lately, my taste in trousers has turned almost exclusively to forward pleats, and as a result, I've been collecting and wearing braces quite a bit. I have a good number of pair in vibrant stripes and colors, but find myself reaching most often for a somber set in navy with a hunter green rear blade and brown leather fittings. These orange ones, for as great as they are, can be tough to wear. I find that their best counterpart is their exact opposite, navy blue.
Fist time out, with a Brooks Brothers shirt ($5.49) and a Liberty of London tie ($2.99), both in navy and white. This combination was kept in check with charcoal flannels and a Polo navy double breasted blazer.
Second run, a week later, and the same tie makes another appearance, this time with a vintage white oxford shirt with unlined, long pointed collar, not unlike the one Bruce Boyer recently commissioned from Mercer. It's perfect for a collar pin.
This time, with a Southwick glen check suit with faint blue overcheck in cashmere blend (the result of another trade with Zach). A little more bold than the blazer and flannels combo, but still relatively classic.
Bright colors are a great thing to bring into your wardrobe once you become a confident dresser. They can be daunting, but they don't have to be. Remember, temper them with quieter, classic pieces and let them do the talking.
p.s. given that the rear blade and leather are white, these are pretty much a guarantee with black tie.
p.p.s. new stuff in the Shop, including a rare 1940s Continental style suit. Check it out.