During the 1820s, British clothing designer Albert Thurston began to mass manufacture "braces", the British word for suspenders. These "braces" were attached to trousers by leather loops on the braces to buttons on the pants, rather than metal clasps that clasped to the trouser's waistband. At that time, British men were wearing very high waisted trousers and did not use belts.
On December 19, 1871, Samuel Clemens received the first of three patents for suspenders. Samuel Clemens' pen name was none other than Mark Twain. Twain is the famous American writer and the author of Huckleberry Fin. His suspenders described in his patent as "Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments," were designed to be used for more than just trousers. Twain's suspenders were to be used with underpants and women's corsets as well.
The first patent ever issued for modern suspenders the kind with the familiar metal clasp was issued to inventor David Roth, who received US patent #527887 issued in October of 1894.
The first suspenders were joined together to make a "H" shape in the back. In later designs, suspenders were "X" shaped, and finally, the "Y" shape became popular.
Original designs show suspender straps made of a tightly woven wool known as "box cloth".
According to some American companies, braces usually refer to the leather or cloth strips with button ends that attach to pants. For the British, however, braces refer to all suspenders. After losing popularity during World War I, as men became accustomed to uniform belts, braces (suspenders) were still regular attire throughout the 1920s. Because of their image as 'underwear', some men switched to belts during the 1930s as the waistcoats which had hidden braces became worn less. This also signaled the switch of position of the securing buttons from outside of the waistband to the inside. Life magazine stated in 1938 that 60% of American men chose belts over suspenders (braces). Though the return of fuller-cut trousers in the 1940s revived braces, they did not dominate over belts again to the same extent, however in the UK they remained the norm to wear with suits and dress trousers
So through out history, men have been sporting suspenders & braces. It is indeed a manly look. Whether they are worn with flannel, a worn white button down shirt and denim or all tightened up with a crisp business suit....The look is a winner.