Trouser Support Illustrated


Still confused about your options for trouser support? A reader of this blog asked for an infographic of how James Bond holds up his trousers, and while this illustration does not relate directly to James Bond, it shows four different ways Bond’s trousers are held up. It includes the classic belt and braces as well as Bond’s quintessential side-adjusters, both DAKS tops kind that Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore and the slide-buckle style that Daniel Craig wears.

Click on the image to see it in a larger size.


  1. Matt,
    Thanks for your blog and the attention to detail with your articles. I have learned a lot. Still have more to learn. Granted, some stuff is still confusing to me. Hopefully, time and experience will fix that.

    Anyway, about suspenders. I have seen people where suspenders with pants that have belt loops. They do not where a belt just the suspenders. Is it appropriate to wear suspenders with pants that have belt loops or side adjusters? Do they make pants specifically designed for suspenders? The pictures above would seem to support that.


    • Ideally, trousers for braces will be cut especially for braces. They have a fishtail back, which is raised to allow the back of the braces to sit higher. Bond does not wear such trousers, so I did not illustrate the braces trousers that way. You may have noticed that Ralph Fiennes’ trousers in Skyfall have tabs in the back that raise the back of the braces in a similar way. Still, none of that is necessary. It’s okay to wear braces with trousers that have side adjusters or even belt loops.

    • Thank you for saying this, Matt. Some people go a little too far in their support of braces (no pun intended) in saying that one has to get belt loops removed, side adjusters are improper, or even that one needs the old fashioned fishtail back. The tabs on the back of Fiennes’ trousers are novel, however. They give the benefits of going with braces and high back (comfort) or without (clean look).

  2. Very good illustration of various types of trousers supports. I especially like the daks tops aspetto Sean Connery wore.
    Which program do you use for these infographics?

  3. Matt, or anyone else, do you know where I can find a sewing pattern for a slide-buckle side adjuster. I’ve Googled just about every combination of words I can think of.

  4. Hi! I have a question: I am going to have a bespoke trousers and I’m in doubt about how I should have the supports made. The trouser will have side adjusters, this is standard, but I can add belt loops and suspenders buttons (one of them or both) if I want. I live in a hot climate, so I think sometimes I will be wearing the trousers without the jacket. In this case I think maybe the belt will give a nice look, despite it would be almost decorative, because of the side adjusters. It is ok to wear trousers without belt and jacket? And it is wrong to have belt loops and side adjusters together? It would be valid to wear the suit with belt loops but without the belt, or it would look odd? Basically, the question is if I go to the versatility of both options or the elegance of just side adjusters. I have some off the rack suits all with belt loops and another bespoke suit without. Thank you!

    • I recommend just getting side adjusters and buttons for braces, no belt loops. I think belt loops and side adjusters won’t work well together. Side adjusters will look odd sticking out from under a belt, and they will prevent a belt from laying flat against the waistband of the trousers. If you’re not wearing a jacket, your trousers don’t need a belt if they don’t have belt loops. Belt loops won’t make your trousers any more versatile than side-adjusters alone will.

      • Thank you very much for your answer! I’m going to side adjusters and buttons for braces them.

  5. Mr. Spaiser,
    Your infographic is very useful for my reference to make a bespoke suit trousers. I cherish your nice & detail drawing. Nevertheless, there are some terms that I should consider. I have several questions, sir:
    1. Must trousers for braces have a fishtail back?
    2. Should trousers for braces be added with or without side-adjusters?
    3. What advantages & disadvantages of daks tops and slide-buckle side-adjusters, respectively?

    I am looking forward for your reply. Thank you.

    • Hi Brandon,

      1. Trousers for braces do not need to have a fishtail back, though a fishtail back improves comfort. Folding tabs can do the same that a fishtail back does:

      2. Trousers that do not have a fishtail back may have side-adjusters so you have the option to wear them with or without braces.

      3. Slide buckles give a closer fit and do not stretch. DAKS tops have stretch because the buttons do not offer a precise fit, but the elastic doesn’t work so well and wears out. When you have a heavy cloth, slide buckles generally won’t work because the cloth will be too thick for them. Slide buckles are generally the best type of side adjusters. I have not had good experiences with DAKS tops or D-rings.

    • Of course , my knowledge pales in comparison to Matt , but l think l can answer your questions fairly .
      1) I use Braces Every day to wear all my trousers ever since l first started wearing them in May 2015. Trousers for Braces can definitely have straight tops , instead of a Fishtail back. Infact , only one of my Trousers ( A Dupioni Silk Pair made by Thomas Mahon , which l bought second hand ) have a Fishtail back. All my other trousers have a straight top .
      2)It depends purely on you. I like wearing my trousers only with Braces , always. Since l know , for a fact that l don’t like wearing belts or side adjusters , l always tell my Tailors to have the trousers cut only for Braces without side adjusters or belt loops. If however , you would like the option to wear the trousers without braces , then you should probably consider having side adjusters added to your trousers. I personally don’t , because ( having experimented with all forms of trousers support ) l prefer braces , always over all other forms of trousers support.
      3. Before l became a Braces man , l used to wear trousers with side adjusters for about a year. So , my observations are the following :
      Slide Buckle side adjusters allow for a more precise fit , and they also last long. It’s like a simple pulley mechanism.
      Daks Tops have an elastic running through a tunnel in the back of your waist band , and over time the elastic wears away. I also noticed that in heavier suits , like tweeds or flannels , Daks tops don’t do a very effective job at keeping your trousers up. They do work fairly on the lighter weight suits like a linen suit , a cotton seersucker or a lightweight worsted , or even a silk suit.
      Of course , Matt is more knowledgeable on this matter than l , but this is just my take on the matter.

  6. I think I may go with side tab adjusters but only with suits and belts with odd trousers. Wearing odd trousers without a belt just looks, well odd, on me and side tab adjusters with a suit makes it look more sleek and formal. I do like how comfy side tab adjusters are and you don’t have to worry about an additional piece of clothing to put on, but they still don’t do the best job holding your pants up imo.

    • Side adjusters aren’t anything bad for holding up the trousers, unless A). the trousers were poorly tailored, or B). you are severely out of shape. There will be times when, with the latter, you cannot help.

      • I agree. I find that straps with a slide buckle are very effective on any trousers, and I prefer them on all trousers. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t work for odd trousers. I don’t believe Bond has worn odd trousers with side adjusters since the 1960s, when Connery and Lazenby had them on almost all of their trousers.


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