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Wedding How To Wear A Morning Suit And Win Every Wedding In 2021

19:25  07 april  2021
19:25  07 april  2021 Source:   esquire.co.uk

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Menswear moves quickly. So quickly, in fact, that a wedding invite stamped with ‘morning dress’ once seemed traditional, conservative even. But thanks to a certain David Beckham in Dior, plus the fact that chances to really, properly smarten up are few and far between, black tie for the daytime has become one of wedding season's most popular dress codes.

Prince Harry, John Snow, David Beckham are posing for a picture: morning suits © Hearst Owned morning suits

The exciting part is having a rare chance to showboat in old school finery. Decoding what this most formal dress code actually means is trickier. Whether you're the groom, his best man or just part of the congregation, the key to nailing the morning suit is preparation – leave it too late and you'll be yet another sad guy in an ill-fitting rental. Here's everything you need to know.

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What Is A Morning Suit?

David Beckham wearing a suit and tie: best morning suits © Getty Images best morning suits

Chances are, most men have seen a morning suit of some shape or form: in passing as you flashed through a million photos of a royal wedding; perhaps when your Facebook feed turns into a matrimonial stew halfway through the summer. It may have even been etched in your subconscious since early childhood by way of Thomas The Tank Engine’s bureaucratic overlord, the Fat Controller.

"A morning suit, also known as morning dress, is the traditional, time-honoured gentleman's attire for formal events such as weddings, memorial services and daytime affairs in the presence of the monarch," says Sean Dixon, co-founder and managing director of Savile Row's Richard James. Many refer to the suit as ‘tails’, thanks to the distinctive swallow-tail rear of the jacket, which extends just below the knees. But in the trade, they’re known as "body coats", says Dixon.

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Naturally, a morning suit that's tailored to your body shape is superior to anything you'll find in the hire shop. The trouble is, unless you're at a wedding every week, morning suits don't rank high on the old cost-per-wear ratio.

Excluding a shirt, shoes (and if you’re really going all out, a top hat) the suit itself has three main components: a fitted coat, trousers, and a waistcoat. “Every element should fit like a glove and, ideally, be of bespoke design,” says bespoke tailor Dixon, perhaps unsurprisingly. If your pockets aren't that deep, worry not. Really, you just need to nail the details.

“The most important thing is that the tails should hang perfectly and not cross over, or splay apart," says Dixon. "As our head cutter, Ben Clarke, who makes beautiful morning suits, says: ‘You’ll have your back to the guests throughout the ceremony, so make sure those tails are perfect.’”

Key Elements

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a person holding a sign: best morning suits © Getty Images best morning suits

Should You Buy or Hire a Morning Suit?

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: best morning suits © Getty Images best morning suits

Naturally, a morning suit that's tailored to your body shape is superior to anything you'll find in the hire shop. The trouble is, unless you're at a wedding every week, morning suits don't rank high on the old cost-per-wear ratio. Still, if it's your big day then buying really is the only option: hired morning suits look like hired morning suits. Which means a suit that’s built for every man, and which thus suits no man whatsoever.

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If your bank account can take the strain, a bespoke or made-to-measure morning suit is a thing of beauty. Granted, it's a big investment from something that's going to spend most of the year in your wardrobe, but think of it like a wedding dress: it's your special day, so you deserve to wear something truly special. And unlike a wedding dress, you actually can break it out for other people's weddings (just make sure to switch up your accessories to avoid their wedding photos looking just like your wedding photos).

If your budget is more off-the-rack, then stick to brands that specialise in tailoring (see below for our favourites). There are affordable places to buy a morning suit, and even if they don't look great straight from the hanger, for £30 a tailor will be able to make all the necessary tweaks that make even a budget morning suit look like something made-to-measure.

If you absolutely must hire, then take your time. Keep hitting the fitting room until you find the closest thing to a perfect fit and then ensure the parts you are actually buying – shoes, shirt, tie and so on – are the best within budget. Think of those things as investments. You’ll be wearing them again, even if you're never invited to another country estate wedding in your life.

Where to Buy a Morning Suit

Prince Harry, David Beckham are posing for a picture: Everything you need to know about men's morning suits, the rules of morning dress, and where exactly it came from. © Ana Davila - Getty Images Everything you need to know about men's morning suits, the rules of morning dress, and where exactly it came from.

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