Cummerbund etiquette

Written by kaye wagner
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Cummerbund etiquette
Cummerbunds are popular wedding attire (The Happy Couple image by Cambo from Fotolia.com)

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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Origin

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.

Use

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.

Pleats

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.

Colour

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.

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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