Thursday, February 18, 2010

Black Tie - Part 2

The question was posed: "is a vest, cummerbund or suspenders necessary?"

The truth is, "necessary" is such an awkward word and is generally irrelevant when it comes to dressing. I think "suggested" would be more appropriate, especially for this post.

When wearing black tie attire, a vest, cummerbund or suspenders are things that finish the outfit off, and are items that show attention to detail. While they are not necessary, they certainly do make it all look a bit nicer.

Let's start with the cummerbund - Originally worn for formal Indian dress, it has since made it's way into our evening clothing with style as well as function. Wear the pleats facing up, and recognize that the intention of a cummerbund is to "finish the waist" and cover your white shirt from popping through, underneath your buttons when the jacket is closed. The cummerbund is able to hide that small piece of fabric should you not be wearing your trousers high enough. Never wear a vest with a cummerbund.

A vest is something that has been popular with formal dress for quite some time, though in my opinion, the cummerbund is making it's way back into popularity because of its throwback roots. If you wear a vest, wear suspenders.

Suspenders, or braces can also be (and should be) a finishing touch put on formalwear. With the dancing and moving that generally occur in times of celebration, having something like braces to hold your trousers up will come in handy an be a welcome comfort because you wont have a belt to do the same.....right?
Whichever road you take, just be sure to include atleast one of the above....Personally, my preference is a cummerbund with a bowtie.

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