By Nancy Schleuter
Featured in Make It Minnesota’s Fall 2014 issue.
Not a good thing.
Enter retiree, Gary Larson.
Gary has worn suspenders for multiple decades and has complained about them for most of that time. Why the complaints? “Well for starters,” explained Gary, “most suspender designs include metal clips. Those clips are real upholstery wreckers. They are especially hard on leather car seats.”
“So, my first goal was to design suspenders that didn’t have any metal on them,” he continued. “Plus, I am no fan of elasticized suspenders. They are fine for holding up pants but there is always tension, which results in achy shoulders. That made my second goal to be a suspender design that was free of elastic.”
That’s when a eureka moment happened for Gary.
“Well, really it is simple change but it makes all the difference in the world.” chuckled Gary. “I just added a slider in the back of the suspenders. Moving the “X” up or down on the back allows custom adjustment for shoulder width or slope. And that makes wearing suspenders much more comfortable.”
Gary’s suspender design also takes advantage of the wearer’s belt and belt loops to provide slide-proof stability. Simply by choosing the location of the lower back straps the suspenders can adjust to either the classic ‘x’ or ‘y’ configuration, whichever is more comfortable for the wearer.
“One other nice thing about wearing suspenders with a belt is that the belt can be loosened a bit and your pants will still stay put, “said Gary. “That’s really important if you’ve ever had any abdominal surgeries that can leave tender areas, even years later.”
Currently the suspenders are available in a variety of designs. The work-style are 1.5” width and weigh in at a beefy 9 ounces. The black formal-style are a slim 1” width and work easily with lighter weight belts.
The St. Clair Suspender Company is truly a cottage industry. Gary assembles and sews the suspenders in his home workshop. His wife, Nancy, handles the website and marketing end of things.
For more photos of the suspenders in real life action or to purchase a pair, please visit the St. Clair Suspender Company’s website at www.stclairsuspender.co