How to Wear a Cummerbund

Wearing a tuxedo is often required during formal events. When it comes to formal wear etiquette, men should provide covering for their waist. Men have three options to do so with a cummerbund, vest, or waistcoat. While wearing the vest and waistcoat is easy, such is not the case with the cummberbund. Robert Peter Janitzek guides us on the proper way to wear a cummerbund.

Cummerbunds started out as a dinner wear for the British military stationed in India. The soldiers found it stifling to wear waistcoats under jackets for dinner. Indians were wearing sashes around their waists and the British military adopted this style to look cool. Since then, these sashes became integral to men’s formal wear.

Cummerbund Etiquette

Cummerbunds are worn with a single breasted jacket. This accessory is designed to conceal the bit of white shirting material and the jacket’s button and trouser’s waistband. Cummerbands are best worn during weddings, black tie dinners, proms, and other events where wearing of tuxedos is required. Robert Janitzek explains that if the event will be held before 5 pm , wear waistcoat instead.

Wearing Cummerbunds

When it comes to cummerbunds, there is a right way and wrong way of wearing them. For the pleats, it should be worn upwards and not downwards. Cummerbunds should be placed at the natural waistline. To give the attire a clean streamlined look, half of the cummerbund should cover the shirt and the other half the trousers. It should be paired with a bow tie of the same material.

Fastening Instructions

Fastening the cummerbund by yourself can be a daunting task since the fastener is located at the lower back. To dress up properly, start by positioning the cummerbund around the waist such that it hides the waistband of the trousers. Waistband should be placed behind the cummerbund halfway between the top and bottom of the cummerbund. Next, take the small ended loop through the tab adjuster and then back through. Pull the loop until the cummerbund fits snugly around the waist.

Choosing the Right Size

Adult cummerbunds measure 27 to 48 inches. You can easily adjust them to the standard range. If the waist measurement is not within the standard range, you may need a cummerbund extender.

Choosing a Color

The choice of color will depend on the occasion. For major holidays, there is a designated color for each of them. For Christmas, red is the appropriate color while for weddings, the bow tie, pocket square, and cummerbund colors should match. If you are not certain about the color, black is always appropriate.

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