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Morning suit with second jacket

Mdkeene

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Hi all,

Since Saturday I'm engaged to be married. We're getting married in September of 2014, which seems far away but time flies and so I want to already make a decision on what I'm going to have my tailor make me.

I live in Spain where the groom and his groomsmen normally wear morning wear or strollers. I'd love to have a morning suit but at this point in time it seems like quite a big expense for something I'll only wear once or twice in my life. Therefore I was thinking about having a grey morning suit made and then having a regular 2 button jacket made in the same material. Take off the morning jacket, throw on the suit jacket and you've got a nice suit to wear for special occasions or even to work.

Would this be a strange thing to do and do you see any problems with this? Are the trousers to a morning suit different regarding fit? Are the materials use perhaps inappropriate for normal suits?

Thanks. I look forward to your replies.
 
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blackbowtie

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Interesting idea and quite clever I think. The morning suit's trousers are high waisted but this is in no way a problem, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. A parallel to this would be using the trousers of a white tie rig for black tie - something I've done successfully to optimize packing (no one even noticed the double stripes, and the dinner jacket was made of almost the same material as to be indistinguishable in the evening.)

But I look forward to the experts' take on this.
 

gherrmann

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I actually did this, using a mid-grey sharkskin from the Smith's formals book (I think the same cloth is also in one of their suiting books). I did the second jacket with one button and peak lapels, and it made for a great lounge suit that was slightly on the formal side, but not so much so that it was beyond the realm of normal office wear. As noted, the trousers for a morning suit tend to be cut rather high, but that never really bothered me.

The only problem with this plan is that it's not nearly as economical as a rig that's done with two pairs of trousers (e.g., blazer suit plus extra grey odd trousers). So much of the cost of a suit comes from the coat-making side of the equation, so adding another jacket usually is a not insignificant added expense. Other than that, though, I am a fan of the idea.

I suppose one other consideration is that a solid grey morning suit is considered somewhat less formal than the dark-coat-plus-striped-trousers configuration (and it tends to be thought of as more appropriate in spring/summer than autumn/winter).
 

ImTheGroom

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Congratulations! There is no problem with this, and you can wear whatever rise trousers you want, really, with a morning suit you have made. The key is to ensure the same amount of waistcoat shows above and below the coat's button/link. Another idea might be to get a vintage morning coat, which can be had for not too much from this site: http://www.savvyrow.co.uk or a newer one is not too expensive from either clermontdirect.com or mytuxedo.co.uk, or Marks & Spencer, or Moss Bros.

Then, you could have your suit made, and wear matching trousers and waistcoat, with the black or charcoal morning coat. It is not the usual thing, but there is no rule, specifically, against it. I bought my morning coat from Savvy Row, and waiscoat from MyTuxedo.co.uk, and matched it with a new pair of pants. The coat and waistcoat, together, cost me $200 Canadian. Here is the result:

 

Mdkeene

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I suppose one other consideration is that a solid grey morning suit is considered somewhat less formal than the dark-coat-plus-striped-trousers configuration (and it tends to be thought of as more appropriate in spring/summer than autumn/winter).

It's interesting you say this, as it's something I was wondering about. Prince Charles seems to love them though and I've noticed he's worn an all grey morning suit to the Royal Ascot as well. I figured that if it's good enough for him, I should be alright.

The cost of an extra jacket doesn't concern me too much. My tailor already has my measurements and patterns of other jackets. If I use one of the patterns of a previous jacket, he'll drop the price quite a bit.

ImTheGroom, do you have pictures of those trousers? I like the step away from the grey, striped trousers I always see over here.
 
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gherrmann

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It's interesting you say this, as it's something I was wondering about. Prince Charles seems to love them though and I've noticed he's worn an all grey morning suit to the Royal Ascot as well. I figured that if it's good enough for him, I should be alright.

well, this actually raises a good example re: the formality point. prince charles has worn a solid grey morning suit to ascot more than once, but when he married camilla parker bowles, for example, he wore a dark coat and striped trousers. draw whatever conclusions you wish. I like the all-grey rig, but I do think it is perceived as less formal.
 

Mdkeene

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Gherrmann , good point.

I think the formality of the suit won't be too much of an issue. People around here, and certainly those that will attend our wedding probably won't even realize this. It seems that as long as they see a waistcoat and a jacket that's long in the back, you're fine. It's one of those things people expect even though they know nothing about the why and how of it. Silly...but true.
 

GBR

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Seems a good idea
 

ImTheGroom

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It's interesting you say this, as it's something I was wondering about. Prince Charles seems to love them though and I've noticed he's worn an all grey morning suit to the Royal Ascot as well. I figured that if it's good enough for him, I should be alright.

The cost of an extra jacket doesn't concern me too much. My tailor already has my measurements and patterns of other jackets. If I use one of the patterns of a previous jacket, he'll drop the price quite a bit.

ImTheGroom, do you have pictures of those trousers? I like the step away from the grey, striped trousers I always see over here.
Here are some with better views. They are from Brooks Brothers - I think these ones: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Fitzgerald-Fit-Plain-Front-Trousers/MJ00057,default,pd.html?dwvar_MJ00057_Color=GREY&contentpos=52&cgid=0219

The fellow in the beard is my father, who hade his pants for his stroller made from a double-stripe fabric. It does not show up in the pictures, but it is sort of a double pin stripe, with diagonal stripes between the two pin stripes. Between each pair of connected stripes is plain grey - that's probably a confusing description, but it is a different type of stripe, which is also correct with morning dress. My father in law and grandfather in law are in cashmere stripe (the most common, that you would usually see) and plain grey trousers, respectively.




well, this actually raises a good example re: the formality point. prince charles has worn a solid grey morning suit to ascot more than once, but when he married camilla parker bowles, for example, he wore a dark coat and striped trousers. draw whatever conclusions you wish. I like the all-grey rig, but I do think it is perceived as less formal.
A morning suit is less formal than a morning coat, and more formal than a stroller. But, there is no rule that you have to be as formal as possible at your wedding. Maximum formality would be only cashmere stripe trousers, black waistcoats, black ties, and detachable wing collars. If a stroller is a viable wedding option, or indeed so is a lounge suit, then a morning suit is perfectly acceptable if that is what you want to wear. If you want to wear jeans and t-shirts at your wedding, there is nothing stopping you from that either. I certainly do not recommend it, but if that is the type of event you want, then there is no rule against it.
 

marcodalondra

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Congratulations! There is no problem with this, and you can wear whatever rise trousers you want, really, with a morning suit you have made. The key is to ensure the same amount of waistcoat shows above and below the coat's button/link.
I am sorry to disagree with you, but the trouser needs to be high and the waistcoat hem just covering the trouser band. As I told you at the time you first posted a picture of your morning coat, is that the buttoning point was too high, and although you made a great effort above, the one thing that is really bad in your outfit is the lower trouser rise and the too deep waistcoat. Considering you sit it on a budget, you made a great effort, but please do not recommend that people gets bespoke/MTO morning trousers to be cut low or other twists. Back to the OP, I would instead go for dark characoal/oxford grey (virtually blackish) fabric and order a 3 piece (jacket 1B SB peak lapels) and then order an extra waistcoat (dove grey) and trousers (morning stripes) to make up a Stroller/stress man/mezzo tight. I did that and use it in various combinations for various occasions. BTW, for people that says there are no rules around wedding etc, in Europe we still adhere for the majority to proper etiquette, so if you get married in a grand church for example and your wife is wearing a long white dress, then you are most probably told to wear appropriate morning dress.
 
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ImTheGroom

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I am sorry to disagree with you, but the trouser needs to be high and the waistcoat hem just covering the trouser band. As I told you at the time you first posted a picture of your morning coat, is that the buttoning point was too high, and although you made a great effort above, the one thing that is really bad in your outfit is the lower trouser rise and the too deep waistcoat. Considering you sit it on a budget, you made a great effort, but please do not recommend that people gets bespoke/MTO morning trousers to be cut low or other twists.

Back to the OP, I would instead go for dark characoal/oxford grey (virtually blackish) fabric and order a 3 piece (jacket 1B SB peak lapels) and then order an extra waistcoat (dove grey) and trousers (morning stripes) to make up a Stroller/stress man/mezzo tight. I did that and use it in various combinations for various occasions.

BTW, for people that says there are no rules around wedding etc, in Europe we still adhere for the majority to proper etiquette, so if you get married in a grand church for example and your wife is wearing a long white dress, then you are most probably told to wear appropriate morning dress.
You should not presume, at least not so obviously, that no others have any knowledge, or that your perceived ideal of Morning Dress is the only correct interpretation. The button stance on my coat is, yes, very high, because the coat was made in the 1930's. It s quite odd that you call it "too high" as it would originally have been meant to be worn with the trouser rise you suggest, which leads one to wonder whether your expertise is such at all. At any rate, you could simply have stated that you believe a high trouser rise is more traditionally correct, (an entirely valid opinion, whether we agree or not) and advised the OP in that direction, rather than overtly criticizing a stranger's wedding photograph, by saying "valiant attempt, but wrong" and implying that, because I lacked the means for a bespoke garment, I must be ignorant. Such a poor display of character shows you in quite a poor light. It creates the opposite of the perception one would hope to achieve.

What you are actually talking about is balance. The button stance of the coat should visually bisect the button stance and hem of the waistcoat. That is why I purchased the highest buttoning waistcoat possible. As to trouser rise, it is a matter of personal preference, not a firm rule; I have done extensive research, and it is visual balance that is important, more so than this detail. Trouser rise does change somewhat over time, as it does with suits. If we are to allow no change whatsoever, Morning Dress is reduced to an Edwardian costume, rather than a living and relevant style.

As you did in your comments when I was assembling my fit, you are almost entirely ignoring what the OP is trying to achieve. First of all, he specifically states that he is thinking of a morning suit, which you outright ignore, and his reason is so that he can get more use out of most of the garments he commissions. He is specifically trying to purchase more versatile clothing, and you prescribe both more clothing, and different clothing than he seems to want (as he is considering a long coat, not a short coat), and a pair of trousers that have virtually no usefulness outside of Morning Dress. If he wishes to have a higher trouser rise, then he should have it. If he wishes to have a morning suit, rather than a stroller or morning coat, he should have it. If he wishes to have a regular, rather than high, trouser rise, he should have it, and adjust the button stances of both his waistcoat and tailcoat accordingly. This is down to personal preference, within the framework of Morning Dress.

In my research for my wedding, and out of general interest, I inquired with online resources, as well as my friends in the UK, continental Europe, and Australia, as to their wedding customs, and wedding customs in Europe vary extensively, and your parochial admonishing of North Americans is rather telling of your own attitudes. It is also a little amusing to describe Europe as a stalwart of prewar tradition, which is a very North American misconception about Europe.

Finally, men are not told what to wear; we decide on our own.
 

Mdkeene

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ImTheGroom and Marcodalondra,

You both make good points that serve as great advice.

What I really wanted to know, has been answered and explained.

I´m not sure what customs regarding weddings are like in the United States, or in most other countries for that matter, but I know that here in Spain morning dress is the norm. However, I also know that, as I said before, most people don´t quite know the rules and customs when it comes to morning dress. Morning dress for most means a long jacket and a waistcoat. Last year a friend of ours got married wearing a royal blue morning suit, and everybody was commenting on how wonderful he looked, how he looked like a prince, so formal, and what not. Which I guess is nice, as it gives room for personalization and a bit of fun. After all, it is OUR day, so adhering to the rules, while perhaps bending them a bit sounds great.

After some thinking, I´ve come up with a couple of ideas. One of them is going for a pair of patterned trousers, perhaps, as ImTheGroom has. This with a dove grey waistcoat and a midnight blue morning coat. My idea behind it is that this way the trousers could easily be used as odd trousers, as could the waistcoat. Another would be getting an all grey or all midnight blue morning suit, with a second, regular 2 button jacket as well, which would allow for wearing it as a regular suit.

Any more ideas out there? Or perhaps pictures of good combinations of which the trousers and waistcoat could be used as seperate pieces as well?
 

marcodalondra

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You should not presume, at least not so obviously, that no others have any knowledge, or that your perceived ideal of Morning Dress is the only correct interpretation. The button stance on my coat is, yes, very high, because the coat was made in the 1930's.  It s quite odd that you call it "too high" as it would originally have been meant to be worn with the trouser rise you suggest, which leads one to wonder whether your expertise is such at all.  At any rate, you could simply have stated that you believe a high trouser rise is more traditionally correct, (an entirely valid opinion, whether we agree or not) and advised the OP in that direction, rather than overtly criticizing a stranger's wedding photograph, by saying "valiant attempt, but wrong" and implying that, because I lacked the means for a bespoke garment, I must be ignorant.  Such a poor display of character shows you in quite a poor light.  It creates the opposite of the perception one would hope to achieve.

What you are actually talking about is balance.  The button stance of the coat should visually bisect the button stance and hem of the waistcoat.  That is why I purchased the highest buttoning waistcoat possible.  As to trouser rise, it is a matter of personal preference, not a firm rule; I have done extensive research, and it is visual balance that is important, more so than this detail.  Trouser rise does change somewhat over time, as it does with suits.  If we are to allow no change whatsoever, Morning Dress is reduced to an Edwardian costume, rather than a living and relevant style.

 As you did in your comments when I was assembling my fit, you are almost entirely ignoring what the OP is trying to achieve.  First of all, he specifically states that he is thinking of a morning suit, which you outright ignore, and his reason is so that he can get more use out of most of the garments he commissions.  He is specifically trying to purchase more versatile clothing, and you prescribe both more clothing, and different clothing than he seems to want (as he is considering a long coat, not a short coat), and a pair of trousers that have virtually no usefulness outside of Morning Dress.  If he wishes to have a higher trouser rise, then he should have it.  If he wishes to have a morning suit, rather than a stroller or morning coat, he should have it.  If he wishes to have a regular, rather than high, trouser rise, he should have it, and adjust the button stances of both his waistcoat and tailcoat accordingly.  This is down to personal preference, within the framework of Morning Dress.

In my research for my wedding, and out of general interest, I inquired with online resources, as well as my friends in the UK, continental Europe, and Australia, as to their wedding customs, and wedding customs in Europe vary extensively, and your parochial admonishing of North Americans is rather telling of your own attitudes.  It is also a little amusing to describe Europe as a stalwart of prewar tradition, which is a very North American misconception about Europe.

Finally, men are not told what to wear; we decide on our own.

I am not the ultimate expert but have also researched this field in depth. I have attended many events both in full morning dress and mezzo tight (stroller). Etiquette is there for a reason. You have passed in few months from someone that searched for knowledge to someone that pontificate, and here I see the risk of other getting your message as the truth.. So sorry if I did not come across nicely, but I rather make sure there are other informative point of views. You do mention two nice web based guides, but those are still written by someone that may not have a complete view on things (either regionally, historically, or with regards to complete sources), so they should be taken as good starting points but not as ultimate guide. This is a classic menswear forum and most of the classic "rules" are seen as costume by most regular people.

Your coat was cut for another person, that may have had your same shoulder/chest measures, but was most probably shorter then you by 5-10cm. The coat is not long enough and the buttoning point is high, which are telling signs. Suit and formal trousers should have a high rise, certainly higher then what jeans have, and in your pictures , they look almost jeans like. Very high waisted trouser as for Edwardian times use to end under the rib cage, now just under the Navel to just above. The balance you so much profess is not there in my opinion. All being equal, if your waistcoat ended a row of button higher and closer to your body, and the trousers' rise was so realigned, you would have looked so much better.

With regards to the OP, as he mentioned not to want to spend so much money on an item he will probably never wear again, I offered a practical solution that is also economically sound. Where I get things done, a pair of trouser cost 1/4 of a regular jacket cost and 1/5 of a morning coat, so rather then having two jackets, to re- use the trousers, I proposed, like someone did before me, to have a stroller made and have a pair of morning trousers made. I now have, to mix a match with my mezzo tight jacket, three pair of trousers, 1- same cloth as the jacket, 2- morning/cashmere stripes, 3-houndstoot





OP,

I did post a royal blue morning coat photographed in a tailor shop window in Milan (obviously someone will wear it). In a church setting, I would rather see this then a black tie:


 

Mdkeene

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Marcodalondra, those last two photos are great. I hadn't yet seen the royal blue morning coat look good, but that combination there looks very nice. Were the trousers plain grey or did they have a subtle pattern? It's difficult to tell from the pictures. You mentioned that in a church setting you would rather see the royal blue than black tie, could you tell me why? Just out of curiosity, as I really like the royal blue jackets in those pictures.

My tailor is a quite traditional gentleman so I'm sure he'll be able to help me when it comes to the rise of the trousers, the buttoning point and the length of the waistcoat. For now my biggest concern is the colors.

Thank you.
 

marcodalondra

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Marcodalondra, those last two photos are great. I hadn't yet seen the royal blue morning coat look good, but that combination there looks very nice. Were the trousers plain grey or did they have a subtle pattern? It's difficult to tell from the pictures. You mentioned that in a church setting you would rather see the royal blue than black tie, could you tell me why? Just out of curiosity, as I really like the royal blue jackets in those pictures.

My tailor is a quite traditional gentleman so I'm sure he'll be able to help me when it comes to the rise of the trousers, the buttoning point and the length of the waistcoat. For now my biggest concern is the colors.

Thank you.

Black tie (smoking in some of Europe) /tuxedo/dinner suit is for cocktail/dinners/galas, not for Church settings. White tie (frack in some countries) is somehow acceptable for the most formal of wedding especially in Northern European Countries (e.g. Sweden) where it can be also worn in the morning. In fact it was the only appropriate dress for private audiences with the a Pope, although the current one may get ride of all this formality...

I was not really endorsing the royal blue look, I was just saying that I had seen it, as I have seen darker blue morning coat with blue based cashmere stripe trousers in UK. Both the full morning coat and stroller jacket in the pictures are too short. I believe the trousers were in the lightest grey, which do work as odd trousers. If you are going for a double breasted waistcoat, may I suggest that you get one with a deeped centre hem rather then fully squared, as it looks better IMO, sort of this
 
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