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How Do You Wear a Cummerbund?

Cummerbunds deliver a traditional spin on modern formal arrangements and they allow you to add an extra level of detail to your wardrobe. Having originated all the way back in ancient Persia, there's no doubt cummerbunds deliver a quality of exceptional heritage. They're a formal waist sash that are worn around your belt area with a formal suit. 

 

Cummerbund

 

History of Cummerbunds

Cummerbunds got their beginnings in ancient Persia but didn't truly resurface until 1850 where they were adopted as part of the British military's uniform in colonial India. Initially, it was custom for military personnel to wear waistcoats to dinner but as the Indian heat permitted a cooler alternative; the cummerbund was adopted. The cummerbund quickly spread from military use to civilian wear in the 20th century. 
 
Today, cummerbunds are typically worn as part of formal suit ensembles and they're mostly paired with dinner jackets. They're regarded as a formal fashion men's accessory because they provide an extra point of detail that can be the difference between ordinary and noticeable. 

 

How to Wear a Cummerbund

 

Purpose of Cummerbunds

Other than having aesthetic appeal, cummerbunds serve a smart purpose that's integral to men's fashion. They cover the area where your shirt is tucked into your trousers which masks any unsightly bunching. In other words, they cover the "working parts" of your attire. In a similar manner, it's like buttons have satin covers and cufflinks have opulent encryptions. It's important to cover the hard work that other areas of your suit are performing. 

 

Black cummerbund

 

How to Wear a Cummerbund

Cummerbunds are a fabric sash that includes bands that wrap around your hips. There are different ways of fastening a cummerbund; some will have a clip and others will be required to tie up. 
 
As with all men's accessories; there's a right and a wrong way to wear a cummerbund. Contrary to popular belief, cummerbunds are supposed to be worn with the pleats facing upwards. If you wear a cummerbund with the pleats facing downwards, it will be considered incorrect etiquette. 
 
To wear a cummerbund, all you have to do is wrap the sash around your hips where your shirt meets your trousers (making sure the pleats are facing upwards), and then secure the clip at the back of the sash. 

 

Why People Wear Cummerbunds

The benefits of wearing cummerbunds are endless but in the most simple terms; they'll make your suit look more elegant. 
 
Here are some key benefits of wearing a cummerbund with your suit: 
Slimming
Cummerbunds have a slimming effect because they cover the area where some men tend to have a bulge. They'll smooth your tummy out with an understated quality.
 
They Catch Crumbs
This little fact is so well known that cummerbunds are often referred to as crumb catchers. The upward facing pleats means they'll catch your crumbs so you don't have to dry clean your suit!
 
Cooler than waistcoats
The British military learned this the hard way. Cummerbunds are a much cooler alternative to waistcoats but they still give you a completed look. They'll cover your hip area without adding on the degrees.
 
They're good ticket holders
This isn't a joke. When aristocrats first adopted cummerbunds they were used as ticket holders for symphonies and operas. However, today it's more likely you'll be using them to hold your credit card or event pass. 
  

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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