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Waistcoats for morning dress

Faux Brummell

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Hi all. This is a little random and I don’t necessarily expect anyone to have any answers, but on the other hand I have no idea who else I would ask, so here I am…

I have an interest in formal wear rules and trends, when certain things become acceptable or unacceptable, things like that. I’ve noticed two things relatively recently when it comes to morning waistcoats:

My understanding has always been that when you wear a grey morning suit the waistcoat should also be grey. Lately I’ve seen photos, including Prince Philip and on the front page of the Ascot “What to Wear” guide, that had a grey suit with a yellow waistcoat. Have the “rules” changed or has this always been considered an acceptable option?

I also understood that, while it’s not exactly a rule, lighter colored waistcoats are preferred with a black/Oxford grey morning coat. I’ve noticed relatively recently that a number of guys are a wearing double breasted navy blue waistcoats with morning dress, including Prince Harry (a couple of times), a groom at one of the recent royal weddings, and I believe a guest at a different royal wedding. (Not only that, but interestingly enough all of them also wore a white shirt and a light blue tie with it.) Is a navy waistcoat a classic option that I just never noticed or is it a new trend? (My wife was looking at royal wedding photos at one point and commented on how much she liked the navy vest, which is what made them start standing out to me when I see them. We don morning dress for our anniversary and I happen to have a nice double breasted navy waistcoat, and light blue tie, so I imagine I’ll be rocking the same look myself at some point.)

Anyway, just wanted to pick your brains with my random pedantic thoughts.

Thanks,
FB
 

culverwood

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The rules have certainly changes if people are wearing a coloured waistcoat with a grey morning suit. Sometimes photos do not tell the truth colour-wise but one would expect professional photos of royals not to be like my iPhone snaps.

As for waistcoats with normal morning dress, I think it is a fashion thing and some colours come in and out of fashion.
 

Faux Brummell

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Thanks. I have to admit I like the all-grey much better, especially with a double-breasted waistcoat, but who am I to tell royalty how to dress? 🙂
CB7FEA24-03FF-475F-B646-55E9908590BB.jpeg
 

R.O. Thornhill

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Traditionally, one would wear a matching waistcoat with the grey morning suit, and for a black coat typically a buff or dove grey waistcoat. In general there is more leeway with a black coat and trends come and go (pastel linen was a thing for a while). Personally I would always go for a significant amount of contrast to the coat, so lighter than navy

R-O-T
 

culverwood

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Interesting to see a super version of waistcoat buttoning leaving 2 buttons undone, or perhaps he had just got out of the carriage and was fixing his rig. No other photos show the 2 buttons undone later in the day and on other occasions. Looking at the pictures I can understand why the waistcoat follows the line of his morning coat when two buttons are left undone in a way it would not if one of them was buttoned.

There are photos showing him wearing a lighter grey double breasted waistcoat with that suit, others show a matching DB waistcoat with the same suit.
 
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Faux Brummell

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I hope this trend doesn’t last. Here’s the same style on this year’s Ascot guide.

DF34AEB6-E3D2-4C5A-B2B3-F8F1D19110F0.jpeg
 

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