Offered at Ypsilanti clothing store Sullivan and Cook almost exactly 100 years ago – in July of 1912 – were invisible suspenders.
On absorbing this tidbit of information, the perplexed reader may justly wonder how on earth one could pick out a particular style of said accessory – or would style even matter? At a 2-for-1 invisible suspender sale, how would a buyer know he’d received both pairs? What if the invisible suspenders were mislaid around the house, never to be found again?
Such questions are justified, if slightly surreal, for anyone unacquainted with this clothing item once widely available in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and across the nation.
From obscure elastic hangs a tale of changing worlds.
Far from being a passing fad, invisible suspenders were a tiny signifier of vast inexorable social change in early 20th century America, and as iconic in their humble way as the Model T.