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Dinner suits, waistcoats, buttons

Lafont

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I put together a fabulous outfit for my daughter's wedding in 2007. It included a vintage, one-button, French bespoke, midnight blue dinner suit with black satin lapels and a very British- looking, non-lapelled, single-breasted waistcoat or vest. During the event (or at least standing, anyway, which was most of the time) I kept the jacket buttoned. Now I'm reading one should keep a single-breasted tuxedo jacket unbuttoned when wearing a vest.

I had never given it a thought to keep the jacket unbuttoned at this fairly formal occasion, which included going down the aisle with my wife and daughter (Jewish wedding tradition), dancing, giving a toast, etc. And also, probably subconsciously, was going by the rule of keeping a jacket buttoned when standing (and, maybe, unbuttoning it when sitting).

I probably kept the vest unbuttoned at the bottom. How important do you think the rule/custom/etiquette is to keep the single-buttoned tuxedo unbuttoned when wearing a somewhat formal but single-breasted and non-lapelled vest?
Rachel's wedding Styleforum buttoning.jpg
 
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Faux Brummell

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Hi Lafont. Not sure what you're reading but t's definitely not a rule or custom to keep your dinner jacket unbuttoned when wearing a waistcoat - if anything, I think most experts would advise that you button it, though it's not a rule either way. You're in the clear!

(See, for example, Cary Grant: https://bamfstyle.com/2012/11/29/to-catch-a-thief-tux/)

P.S. I personally like to keep my tuxedo unbuttoned when wearing a waistcoat. That's really the only difference between me and Cary Grant.
 

Andy57

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I'll echo the previous comment. It's entirely up to you if you button your jacket when wearing a waistcoat. I usually don't when I have a waistcoat on, but I do button my jacket when I'm using a cummerbund.

My waistcoats for use with a dinner jacket have straight bottoms. I button every button.
 

Lafont

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It was a book in the "Gentleman" series (you know - the "little black-covered books?), A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle, which I had seen Brooks Brothers whereby the author clearly promoted jacket buttoned with cummerbund but unbuttoned with vest or waistcoat. That started me up - searching in my menswear and etiquette books and various websites. I saw the "rule" in various ones but also some that "permitted" the buttoned jacket, such as on Ask Andy About Clothes.

I really do appreciate the comments so far! Cary Grant's vest just matches the jacket so there's nothing to "display" there, but I suppose that's irrelevant. In any case, with my jacket buttoned there's still a fair amount of the waistcoat's fabric showing.
 

Faux Brummell

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Next week I’ll be “displaying” a vintage red waistcoat for Valentine’s Day. 🙂
 

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