Options for Waist Coverings
“The well-dressed man makes the most of his body contouring. He clothes himself with a sense of style and flare, but in a way that accentuates his body and makes it appear more athletic. Today’s fashion is coming out of comfort. Still, there must be shape. Shaped clothing is always more flattering to the physique, as opposed to the mere body covering that someone puts on only because it’s big enough to button.” — Pierre Cardin “There is a way of dressing for each age. If you stick to it, you always look the best. If you try to play another role, you look the worst.” — Egon von Furstenberg The waist covering—whether you choose to go with a vest (waistcoat) or cummerbund—is an excellent place to start experimenting with different textures, colors, patterns, and styles. It’s surrounded by black (or midnight blue, or other dark color) and shows just a hint of whatever style you’ve selected above your buttoned dinner jacket. The waist covering is responsible for keeping your ensemble as a whole classically formal despite an unmistakable pop of individuality. In addition to your vest or cummerbund, suspenders (or “braces” as they’re known in the UK) are an important component of your formal ensemble—though, if worn correctly, they shouldn’t really be seen. The interplay between waist covering and suspenders, though discussed in our “Classic Styles” section, is crucial for developing a formal look that fits and stays in place impeccably, no matter how wild the night might get! Another modern trend is to forgo the waist covering (and even, sometimes, suspenders) altogether. While when executed perfectly this can lend an air of softness and ease to your otherwise formal look, it must be executed perfectly: so consider the information provided here before selecting this “naked waist” look as your style of choice!