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Do You Wear a Cummerbund with a Bow Tie?

Cummerbunds have a wealth of heritage behind them so they naturally come with traditions and entrenched perceptions of how they should be worn. A black tux, with a cummerbund and bow tie is one of the most classic formal styles you can possibly execute so it's important that you get the small details right.
 Having earned their official beginning in the 1850's where they were adopted as part of the military's uniform in British India, the popularity of cummerbunds have rapidly flourished over an impressive centuries old history. Cummerbunds definitely hold an old school appeal but if we know one thing's for sure it's that classic never fade. 
Black Cummerbund

Two things have never been more synonymous with each other than a tuxedo is with a bow tie. More so, they go hand in hand with formal tradition when it comes to men's fashion. Although old school sometimes holds negative connotations in the 21st century era, cummerbunds and bow ties prove some accessories are simply timeless. 


So can it be acceptable to wear a cummerbund with anything but a bow tie? Sure, it seems tempting to ponder but the cummerbund is a truly tried and tested staple. Wearing a cummerbund with a necktie or skinny tie can create an awkward overlap. A low hanging accessory that overlaps with a cummerbund has the tendency to make your ensemble look overcrowded and overdone. 




When it comes to wearing a tuxedo, we always recommend sticking to the classics. Choose either a cummerbund or a waistcoat (not both) and pair a bow tie that will complement. Additionally, if you're wearing suspenders, ensure you wear them underneath your cummerbund. 

 How to Wear a Cummerbund

Cummerbunds come with a wealth of rules that are thoroughly understood by gentlemen who worship tradition. For any man who wants to wear a cummerbund with a tuxedo, it's important to be well versed in the rules. 


Wear the pleats facing upwards

Most men's cummerbunds come with rows of pleats that are designed to be worn facing upwards. Not only do these upward pleats make excellent crumb catchers, they were traditionally used to hold tickets and other thin personal belongings when men attended social events. 


Wear them over suspenders

Suspenders aren't compulsory, but they should be worn underneath your cummerbund if you do decide to wear them. 


Don't wear a waistcoat at the same time

When it comes to waist coats and cummerbunds, it's either one or the other. Mixing and matching will not only be incredibly hot and uncomfortable, it will make your tuxedo look overdone. 


Don't wear a belt

Cummerbunds and belts are not to be worn together. As the purpose of cummerbunds is to flatten out your waist area, a bulky belt will no doubt undo all that hard work. 


Peter Marshall is a legend amongst the men of OTAA. Sharp dressed to a point, only his wit has more edge.
An English gentleman, lover of business and an avid blogger




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