Morning dress
Overview
 
Morning dress is the daytime formal
Formal wear
Formal wear and formal dress are the general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, débutante cotillion, dance, or race...

 dress code
Dress code (Western)
A dress code is a set of rules governing what garments may be worn together and in what setting. Examples of dress codes are combinations such as "smart casual", or "morning dress". A classification of these codes is normally made for varying levels of formality and times of day...

, consisting chiefly for men of a morning coat, waistcoat
Waistcoat
A waistcoat or vest is a sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear, and as the third piece of the three-piece male business suit.-Characteristics and use:...

, and striped trousers
Spongebag trousers
Formal trousers are formal trousers, either checked or striped, worn with morning dress and semi-formal daywear. They have a muted design in black, silver and charcoal grey, and are made from heavy wool....

, and an appropriate dress
Dress
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...

 for women. Men may also wear a popular variant where all parts (morning coat, waistcoat and trousers) are the same colour/material, often grey and usually called 'Morning Grey' to distinguish it; this is only properly appropriate to weddings and races, and is known as a morning suit.

Morning dress is now rarely worn as anything other than formal wear, as a form of Civic Dress e.g.
Encyclopedia
Morning dress is the daytime formal
Formal wear
Formal wear and formal dress are the general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, débutante cotillion, dance, or race...

 dress code
Dress code (Western)
A dress code is a set of rules governing what garments may be worn together and in what setting. Examples of dress codes are combinations such as "smart casual", or "morning dress". A classification of these codes is normally made for varying levels of formality and times of day...

, consisting chiefly for men of a morning coat, waistcoat
Waistcoat
A waistcoat or vest is a sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear, and as the third piece of the three-piece male business suit.-Characteristics and use:...

, and striped trousers
Spongebag trousers
Formal trousers are formal trousers, either checked or striped, worn with morning dress and semi-formal daywear. They have a muted design in black, silver and charcoal grey, and are made from heavy wool....

, and an appropriate dress
Dress
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...

 for women. Men may also wear a popular variant where all parts (morning coat, waistcoat and trousers) are the same colour/material, often grey and usually called 'Morning Grey' to distinguish it; this is only properly appropriate to weddings and races, and is known as a morning suit.

Morning dress is now rarely worn as anything other than formal wear, as a form of Civic Dress e.g. by provincial Mayors (as an alternative to Court Dress
Court dress
Court dress comprises the style of clothes prescribed for courts of law, and formerly for royal courts.- Where court dress is worn :Court dress is worn at hearings in open court in all Senior Courts of England and Wales and in county courts. However, court dress may be dispensed with at the option...

, but more generally only for weddings, some official Civic, governmental or Royal functions, social 'Season' events e.g. races such as Royal Ascot, formal lunches (especially those in the City of London institutions notably of the Livery Companies and Guilds and as uniform at some of Britain's most traditional schools such as Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

.

History

The name originated from the practice of gentlemen in the nineteenth century riding a horse in the morning with a cutaway front single breasted morning coat. The modern twentieth century morning dress was originally a more casual form of half dress, but as the nineteenth century progressed it gradually became acceptable to wear it in more formal situations instead of a frock coat
Frock coat
A frock coat is a man's coat characterised by knee-length skirts all around the base, popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The double-breasted style is sometimes called a Prince Albert . The frock coat is a fitted, long-sleeved coat with a centre vent at the back, and some features...

. In the Edwardian era it took over in popularity from the frock coat as the standard daytime form of men's full dress. When it was regarded as a more casual coat, it was common to see it made with step collars (notched lapels in American English), but as it took over from the frock coat in formality it began to be made with the more formal pointed lapels (peaked lapels in American English).

Outline

Morning dress consists of:
  • a morning coat (the morning cut of tailcoat), now always single breasted with one button (or very rarely two) and with peaked lapels
  • a waistcoat
    Waistcoat
    A waistcoat or vest is a sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear, and as the third piece of the three-piece male business suit.-Characteristics and use:...

    , at formal events this is black and matches the material of the coat; at funerals mourners and undertakers usually are dressed as such and this has led to confusion as termed mourning dress and also, but rarely, with additional white slips.
  • a pair of formal striped or checked trousers
    Spongebag trousers
    Formal trousers are formal trousers, either checked or striped, worn with morning dress and semi-formal daywear. They have a muted design in black, silver and charcoal grey, and are made from heavy wool....

     worn with brace
    Suspenders
    Suspenders or braces are fabric or leather straps worn over the shoulders to hold up trousers. Straps may be elasticated, either entirely or only at attachment ends and most straps are of woven cloth forming an X or Y shape at the back. Braces are typically attached to trousers with buttons...

    s
  • a shirt
    Dress shirt
    A shirt, or dress shirt in American English, is a garment with a collar, a full-length opening at the front from the collar to the hem, and sleeves with cuffs. Shirts are predominantly used by men, since women usually wear blouses...

    ;
    • either a turndown collar is worn (white detachable, fastened by collar studs; or attached) with a tie
      Necktie
      A necktie is a long piece of cloth worn for decorative purposes around the neck or shoulders, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat. Variants include the ascot tie, bow tie, bolo tie, and the clip-on tie. The modern necktie, ascot, and bow tie are descended from the cravat. Neck...

      , in which case the shirt has double cuffs
    • otherwise, a high detachable wing collar is worn with a single-cuffed shirt; this combination is always accompanied now by a formal Ascot
      Ascot tie
      An ascot tie, or ascot, is a narrow neckband with wide pointed wings, traditionally made of pale grey patterned silk. This wide, formal tie is usually patterned, folded over, and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack. It is usually reserved for wear with morning dress for formal daytime weddings and...

      , as opposed to a day cravat which is different. This is a more formal option most commonly seen at weddings;
  • a plain or patterned silk handkerchief
    Handkerchief
    A handkerchief , also called a handkercher or hanky, is a form of a kerchief, typically a hemmed square of thin fabric that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose...

     or pocket square may be worn; it is folded and inserted into the front breast pocket of the morning coat
  • black Oxford shoe
    Oxford shoe
    An Oxford is a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as "closed lacing". Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after the Queen's...

    s or dress boot
    Dress boot
    Dress boots are short leather boots worn by men. Built like dress shoes, but with uppers covering the ankle, versions of the boots are used as an alternative to these in bad weather or rough outdoor situation, and as a traditional option for day time formalwear....

    s, or boots with a horse riding connection, such as George or Chelsea boot, or galosh-top dress boots; worn with plain dark socks (or another colour if they can't been seen)


If the trouser cloth matches the coat, the ensemble becomes a morning suit. The waistcoat may also match, or not (an "odd waistcoat"). Morning suits will sometimes be a middle-tone gray. Morning suits, especially the lighter-toned ones, are considered slightly less formal than morning coat ensembles.

The following can optionally be worn or carried with morning dress:
  • a top hat
    Top hat
    A top hat, beaver hat, high hat silk hat, cylinder hat, chimney pot hat or stove pipe hat is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, predominantly worn from the latter part of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century...

    , either classic silk plush, or a modern Melusine fur (replacement for silk plush, as is it no longer in mainstream manufacture). Alternatively, a top hat made of fur felt or wool felt, is another common option.
  • gloves of suede
    Suede
    Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, shirts, purses, furniture and other items. The term comes from the French "gants de Suède", which literally means "gloves of Sweden"....

    , chamois
    Chamois
    The chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra, is a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the European Alps, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus. The chamois has also been introduced to the South Island of New Zealand...

    , or kid
    Goat
    The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

     leather; the most traditional colour is lemon or grey
  • grey or white spats
  • a cane or umbrella
  • a pocket watch
    Pocket watch
    A pocket watch is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket, as opposed to a wristwatch, which is strapped to the wrist. They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after World War I during which a transitional design,...

     on the waistcoat rather than at the lapel, or wrist watch
  • a boutonnière
    Boutonniere
    A boutonnière is a floral decoration worn by men, typically a single flower or bud. The word comes from the French word for buttonhole, which is the British term....


Full description

The morning coat can be black or Oxford grey herringbone
Herringbone (cloth)
Herringbone describes a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern usually found in twill fabric. It is distinguished from a plain chevron by the break at reversal, which makes it resemble a broken zigzag. The pattern is called herringbone because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish...

 wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 with the tails of knee length. The formal ('spongebag') trousers
Spongebag trousers
Formal trousers are formal trousers, either checked or striped, worn with morning dress and semi-formal daywear. They have a muted design in black, silver and charcoal grey, and are made from heavy wool....

 worn with it are either 'cashmere' striped, or black and white checked.

The most traditional colours for a waistcoat are grey, buff (a yellowish tan colour), or black. A black morning coat with matching black waistcoat is the most formal option, being worn for funeral
Funeral
A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

s, memorial services, civic dress and diplomatic dress (replaing or supplementing Court Dress
Court dress
Court dress comprises the style of clothes prescribed for courts of law, and formerly for royal courts.- Where court dress is worn :Court dress is worn at hearings in open court in all Senior Courts of England and Wales and in county courts. However, court dress may be dispensed with at the option...

), with academic dress
Academic dress
Academic dress or academical dress is a traditional form of clothing for academic settings, primarily tertiary education, worn mainly by those that have been admitted to a university degree or hold a status that entitles them to assume them...

, or in government use in America. At social or festive occasions, e.g. races and weddings, a contrasting waistcoat is worn, usually dove grey or sometimes buff, although there has been a tendency towards 'fancy' waistcoats of multicoloured and embridered materials. Waistcoats may be either single-breasted or double-breasted with lapels. Sometimes a white slip is worn, which is a strip of fabric buttoned to the inside top of the waistcoat to simulate the effect of a paler under-waistcoat, though the actual wearing of two waistcoats was obsolete even for the late Victorians.

Formal trousers should not have turn-ups (cuffs in American English), and should have one or two forward pleats to each leg. Braces (suspenders in American English) should be worn to prevent the waistband from appearing beneath the waistcoat.

A white stiff collar is traditional, with the plain turn-down cutaway variety standard since the War; in this case a normal long tie is worn. Otherwise, a wing collar may be worn; the combination of long tie and wing collar is very dated, so these are paired with an Ascot, though even this has acquired negative connotations as dress hire companies used pre-tied or incorrect patterns for many years which has caused the configuration to be seen as an inferior or hired look. Because of this Debrett's
Debrett's
Debrett’s is a specialist publisher, founded in 1769 with the publication of the first edition of The New Peerage. The name "Debrett's" honours John Debrett...

, for example, considers the Ascot and wing collar inappropriate for weddings or morning dress. If the shirt has turn-down collars it usually has sleeves with double cuffs fastened with cufflinks as standard. If a wing collar is worn it should be with a single cuff shirt as in the past a starched stiff fronted shirt was worn with the cuffs also starched stiff as well as a starched detachable wing collar, worn with cufflinks and shirt studs (essentially, the same as the full evening dress shirt). Contemporary shirts often do not have a detachable collar at all. The most formal colour for a shirt is white, but if a coloured or striped shirt is worn, it should have contrasting white collar (and possibly cuffs). Traditional formal colourings are Wedgwood blue, solid or in thin vertical stripes.

Previously, a grey or (if at a funeral) a black neck-tie was obligatory. Now all colours are worn; in many clubs and societies the Club Tie is acceptable to distinguish members from guests at formal lunches and breakfasts. The original silver Macclesfield design (a small check) is still used particularly with cravats, and is often called a wedding tie.

Shoes should be of the traditional, black plain cap-toe Oxford
Oxford shoe
An Oxford is a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as "closed lacing". Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after the Queen's...

 type without brogueing
Brogues
The Brogue is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations and serration along the pieces' visible edges...

, but not patent leather
Patent leather
Patent leather is a type of japanned leather that has been given a high gloss, shiny finish. The process was brought to the United States and improved by Newark-based inventor Seth Boyden in 1818, with commercial manufacture beginning September 20, 1819. Boyden's process, which he never patented,...

 which is now reserved for evening formal wear
Formal wear
Formal wear and formal dress are the general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, débutante cotillion, dance, or race...

. In the Victorian and Edwardian era button boots and Oxford boots were worn and these can be correctly worn with morning dress today. When worn at equestrian events, boots of equestrian origin such as jodhpur boot
Jodhpur boot
The jodhpur boot is an ankle boot designed as a riding boot with a rounded toe and a low heel. They originally fastened with a strap and buckle, but today the term also includes designs with straps that do not wrap entirely around the ankle and the elastic-sided design without a strap also known as...

s, George boots and Chelsea boot
Chelsea Boot
Chelsea Boots are tight-fitting, ankle-high boots that originated in the Victorian era, and were originally associated with horse riding. The most notable feature of the Chelsea boot is its elastic siding, running from just above the welt to the top of the shoe. The design began as a type of...

s are also acceptable. Spats were once frequently seen with morning dress, but are now rarely worn.

Morning Grey

Slightly less formal, a morning suit can be worn, which has mid-grey matching morning coat, waistcoat, and trousers (all cut the same as above); being more relaxed, this is a traditional option for events in less formal settings such as Royal Ascot, and is now often worn to weddings as well.

Scottish Highland dress

Scottish Highland
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

 dress may also be worn at events requiring morning dress:

The morning suit version of Highland dress consists of:
  • Black (or charcoal) semi-formal kilt jacket in superfine wool or barathea; Argyll-, Crail-, and Braemar-style jackets are suitable
  • Five- or six-button waistcoat in black, grey, putty, or tartan
    Tartan
    Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns...

  • Kilt
    Kilt
    The kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the rear, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century. Since the 19th century it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland in general, or with Celtic heritage even more broadly...

  • White shirt with turndown collar, French cuffs, and cufflinks
  • Tie in a single colour
  • Black brogues
  • Tartan, argyle, diced, or dark hose (white and off-white hose should be avoided)
  • Flashes or garter ties
  • Dress Sporran
    Sporran
    The Sporran is a traditional part of male Scottish Highland dress. It is a pouch that performs the same function as pockets on the pocketless Scottish kilt....

  • Dress Sgian dubh
    Sgian Dubh
    The sgian-dubh is a small, singled-edged knife worn as part of traditional Scottish Highland dress along with the kilt. It is worn tucked into the top of the kilt hose with only the upper portion of the hilt visible...


Occasions

Men wear morning dress when members of a wedding party. In common with court dress
Court dress
Court dress comprises the style of clothes prescribed for courts of law, and formerly for royal courts.- Where court dress is worn :Court dress is worn at hearings in open court in all Senior Courts of England and Wales and in county courts. However, court dress may be dispensed with at the option...

, mess dress
Mess dress
Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit...

, and white tie
White tie
White tie is the most formal evening dress code in Western fashion. It is worn to ceremonial occasions such as state dinners in some countries, as well as to very formal balls and evening weddings...

, morning dress is for prestigious and important social occasions. Despite its name, morning dress may be worn to afternoon social events before five o'clock, but not to events beginning after seven o'clock in the evening; the term "morning" is best understood as "daylight".
Black tie
Black tie
Black tie is a dress code for evening events and social functions. For a man, the main component is a usually black jacket, known as a dinner jacket or tuxedo...

 (evening dress
Black tie
Black tie is a dress code for evening events and social functions. For a man, the main component is a usually black jacket, known as a dinner jacket or tuxedo...

) is the correct, equivalent formal dress for evening social events. The cutaway front of the morning tail coat differs from the evening tail coat (dress coat) in that the waist of former is cut obliquely while the waist of the latter is cut horizontally, and the tail is cut differently from the swallow tailcoat used for evening dress. The skirt waist construction of the coats is equestrian in origin, to ease the wearer's riding his horse. In the U.S., the morning coat is sometimes referred to as a cutaway coat.

In the UK, morning dress is worn to certain equestrian events (such as Royal Ascot and The Derby). It is also worn, both in the UK and certain other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand, by the male members of a wedding party. In Europe, the groom sets the sartorial tone: the guests may wear morning dress if he does. In the U.S., morning dress is rare; it usually is worn in traditional weddings and political formal events, although the Kennedy inauguration of 1961 was the last use for that ceremony. In the American South, morning dress is commonly worn by a governor-elect when sworn to office. The United States Solicitor General
United States Solicitor General
The United States Solicitor General is the person appointed to represent the federal government of the United States before the Supreme Court of the United States. The current Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 6, 2011 and sworn in on June...

 and deputies wear morning coats during oral argument before the United States Supreme Court, as does the Marshal and Clerk of the court during all sessions of the court.

In Iran, during the Shah's period, morning dress was used in formal events of royal court. But the Shah himself never wore this suit, though he often wore white tie in formal occasions, such as greeting with U.S. president or other kings and queens of world.
In fiction or popular culture, it may be used to refer, possibly satirically, to a rich ruling class, for example in cartoons.

See also

  • The stroller
    Stroller (style)
    The stroller, also known as a Stresemann, a director, or simply black lounge is a form of men's semi-formal daytime dress comprising a single- or double-breasted coat , grey striped or checked formal trousers, a necktie , and a waistcoat...

     is a similar, but slightly less formal, dress code, hence not interchangeable with full morning dress. Where morning dress is the daylight equivalent of evening's black tie, the stroller is a formal revamp of the lounge suit.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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