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5. March 2020

Debates at Mogg Towers: Side fasteners


Bob The wardrobe builder

I must admit, amongst us geeks, there are some strongly-held opinions on side fasteners on trousers. I must also admit that my views are not the most strongly-held within the group. Nonetheless, I’ll chip in with my tuppence worth (or two cents worth for non-Brit readers), and try to give you a bit of a flavour of the more strongly-held opinions in the group.

Having grown up on the other side of the Atlantic, I wasn’t even aware that side fastening options existed for trousers. It wasn’t until I moved to London 25 years ago that I came across them. And, let me tell you, it was love at first sight.

In the US, all of the suit trousers (or pants as they are called States-side) I came across had belt loops. Belts are fine with jeans or other casual trousers, but not with a suit. So, if like me, you wanted to wear braces (or suspenders as they are called States-side) with your trousers (pants), you had to go to a reparations tailor to have the buttons added. Or wear clips. Which is sacrilege. A few years later, I moved to London and went in to a Hackett shop to buy a ready-to-wear pinstriped suit. I found a suit I liked, and when I tried it on, the trousers on the suit not only had buttons pre-installed, but also side fasteners! I was blown away – what a concept! You could wear your suit trousers with or without braces, and avoid the dreaded belt! Genius! I was in love …

Since then, I have had several bespoke or made-to measure suits made, and every time I have asked that the trousers have side fasteners, even though I wear braces every day. I find it a nice clean look, and haven’t seen the need to get suit trousers made without them. 

Some of the other gents at Mogg Towers, however, have much stronger views than me on side adjusters. One of our brethren is of the opinion that tailor-made trousers should never have side adjusters, because they should only be worn with braces. Given my pre-disposition to braces, this is a view I can agree with. Another of the chaps, however, likes side-fasteners as they make a clean cut between the shirt and trousers. Also, if you are wearing a jumper, with side-adjusters you can tuck it in to your trousers and not have braces in the way. Which is also sensible.

In the end, if you told me I couldn’t have side adjusters on my trousers, that’d be fine, as I wear braces with my suits every day. For anybody that doesn’t wear braces, or wants to mix it up a bit, then the side adjuster is a great way to give you more options. And, with braces, side fasteners don’t look awful. Superfluous, maybe, but not awful. BTWB/DC/MM