Today, cummerbunds are often worn in formal occasions for black tie events. Black tie etiquette however, is constantly changing and evolving. One cummerbund at one event may not suit another event and only dinner jackets can be worn with certain cummerbunds.
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Cummerbunds were developed in India, where British officers first adopted them as formal wear. The officers used them as a cooler alternative to waistcoats in the summer. This is where cummerbund etiquette was first formed.
If the man is wearing a double-breasted jacket, there is no need for a cummerbund or waistcoat. If the jacket is not double-breasted the man should choose between a waistcoat and cummerbund.
Most cummerbunds are pleated and should always be worn with the pleats facing up. This is because they were traditionally used to hold opera tickets and other slips of paper. The upward facing pleats can also have a slimming effect.
Today, many men wear colourful cummerbunds to formal events and match their cummerbund with their bow tie. However, strict followers of formal wear etiquette state that only black, dark blue or dark maroon cummerbunds should be worn and they should never match with the colour of the bow tie.
Cummerbunds should only be worn with a bow tie following the etiquette of a black tie event. Cummerbunds should never be worn with a long tie, which is too informal for the cummerbund.
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