Why no waistcoat/vest with DB black tie?

Skipperino

New Member
48
Great Britain
Lincolnshire
Lincoln
Okay; this is probably going to sound like a really stupid question, but I've noticed that, in pretty much every guide to black tie (and indeed, everything I've read on the subject of semi- and formal wear), the wearing of a black evening waistcoat with the double breasted version of the tuxedo jacket is a no-no (as is the cummerbund)... now, I know what you're all going to say: "no point, the waist is covered"...etc etc...but waistcoats are certainly okay -though not at all necessary nor particularly desirable with either a DB suit or the DB version of the stroller-I personally don't wear one with my DB 'stealth stroller' nor any DB suits or jackets I own. But I certainly wouldn't be 'wrong' for me to wear one.

So how come it's not considered 'correct' for the DB version of black tie?
 

richard warren

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
478
United States
Louisiana
covington
In ages past when spells were cast
In a time of men in steel
When a man was taught no special thing
It was all done by feel

-Deep Purple

Supposedly, the idea of the Rule was imposed on humanity at a later date (still before the intervention of the internet, which resulted in the imposition of the the iRule, which has metastasized to infest not just the internet but those parts of the legacy media which takes their cues from the internet as well). Part of the Rule was that one must keep his middle covered. Thus the vest, waist coat, weskit, cummerbund, etc. At this time (to which we shall refer as “Days of Yore”) the vest was worn with both double breasted and single breasted lounge suits, but the double breasted dinner coat (Tuxedo) did not exist. Contrary to popular belief, in Days of Yore, the double breasted suit was often worn unbuttoned, or with all buttons buttoned that could be buttoned.

In an act of gross defiance of the Rule, some nonconformist or ignorant rube caused to be created a double breasted dinner coat. Being either a non-conformist or a rube, he presumably neglected to acquire the accompanying vest. Possibly he thought that if he kept the jacket buttoned, it was unnecessary. Subsequent non-conformists or rubes who wear this peculiar mode of dress follow his example as an act of homage.

The Rule evolved when men stopped covering their middles, and stopped wearing vests generally with either single or double breasted lounge suits. The Rule changed. They continued however to cover their middle when wearing dinner coats. (The confusion between the double breasted versions of the dinner jacket and of the lounge suit led to the iRule that one must never unbutton his double breasted lounge suit jacket as well as his double breasted dinner coat.)

Thus, one will look somewhat unconventional if he wears his single breasted dinner coat without waist covering, or unbuttons his double breasted one (or buttons the wrong buttons, or arguably if he has the wrong configuration of buttons), rendering the question of whether he is wearing a vest with his double breasted dinner jacket an ineffable mystery. If he unbuttons his double breasted lounge suit jacket, or buttons the wrong buttons, he will be in breach of an iRule.

The Rule is parsimonious and evolutionary, dealing with certain limited questions and based on changing custom and usage, while the iRule is rigid and aggressive, as befits an algorithmic medium that can neither encompass the actual past nor handle the randomness inherent in the future, or comprehend matters outside of its domain.

The authorities you say forbid a vest with a double breasted dinner coat are probably iRule oriented, because the Rule
not laying claim to omnipotence does not address the issue.
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
7,741
United States
NY
New York
In ages past when spells were cast
In a time of men in steel
When a man was taught no special thing
It was all done by feel

-Deep Purple

Supposedly, the idea of the Rule was imposed on humanity at a later date (still before the intervention of the internet, which resulted in the imposition of the the iRule, which has metastasized to infest not just the internet but those parts of the legacy media which takes their cues from the internet as well). Part of the Rule was that one must keep his middle covered. Thus the vest, waist coat, weskit, cummerbund, etc. At this time (to which we shall refer as “Days of Yore”) the vest was worn with both double breasted and single breasted lounge suits, but the double breasted dinner coat (Tuxedo) did not exist. Contrary to popular belief, in Days of Yore, the double breasted suit was often worn unbuttoned, or with all buttons buttoned that could be buttoned.

In an act of gross defiance of the Rule, some nonconformist or ignorant rube caused to be created a double breasted dinner coat. Being either a non-conformist or a rube, he presumably neglected to acquire the accompanying vest. Possibly he thought that if he kept the jacket buttoned, it was unnecessary. Subsequent non-conformists or rubes who wear this peculiar mode of dress follow his example as an act of homage.

The Rule evolved when men stopped covering their middles, and stopped wearing vests generally with either single or double breasted lounge suits. The Rule changed. They continued however to cover their middle when wearing dinner coats. (The confusion between the double breasted versions of the dinner jacket and of the lounge suit led to the iRule that one must never unbutton his double breasted lounge suit jacket as well as his double breasted dinner coat.)

Thus, one will look somewhat unconventional if he wears his single breasted dinner coat without waist covering, or unbuttons his double breasted one (or buttons the wrong buttons, or arguably if he has the wrong configuration of buttons), rendering the question of whether he is wearing a vest with his double breasted dinner jacket an ineffable mystery. If he unbuttons his double breasted lounge suit jacket, or buttons the wrong buttons, he will be in breach of an iRule.

The Rule is parsimonious and evolutionary, dealing with certain limited questions and based on changing custom and usage, while the iRule is rigid and aggressive, as befits an algorithmic medium that can neither encompass the actual past nor handle the randomness inherent in the future, or comprehend matters outside of its domain.

The authorities you say forbid a vest with a double breasted dinner coat are probably iRule oriented, because the Rule
not laying claim to omnipotence does not address the issue.
You can’t blame everything on the internet. I was taught many of these ‘rules’ before the internet existed. There were fathers, salesmen, books and magazines that inspired people. But there are many iRules that should be ignored. Plenty of men dress in differing ways throughout history. It doesn’t mean they all dressed well.
 

WA

Honors Member
3,960
United States
WA
Bellingham
You would never see a cummerbund or evening waistcoat under a double-breasted dinner jacket. The waistcoat is cut too low.
Sounds like trousers are cut tooooo low.
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
7,741
United States
NY
New York
Sounds like trousers are cut tooooo low.
I know where high-rise trousers should sit. If a waistcoat shows with a double-breasted dinner jacket, the waistcoat is cut too high for black tie. Double-breasted dinner jackets have a higher opening than single-breasted, and on a single-breasted jacket hardly any waistcoat or cummerbund shows.