Well I think they are anyway. They've been pretty thoroughly abused by older gentlemen with an impaired sense of style, though in the right hands I think they can really work well.
I only ever wear them as part of a formal suit and tie combination. I have white suspenders/braces, on a white shirt, with a high quality white silk tie, complimented by a deep navy blue tailored suit with faint pinstripes on it.
Works for me ;-)