If you have noticed you would have known that the vests are back in style. Vests have always been a part of the formal wear in men's style. But with the end of World War they were deemed as unnecessary fabric waste and disappeared from style for quite some time. Since then the vests have been in and out of style. Now with them currently in style let us discuss about the basics of the garment and how to wear it properly with a formal attire.
When it comes to black tie events you will need to properly dress up and in tuxedos you may have noticed this extra garment choice - whether to wear a vest or a cummerbund. These two rather than being the novelty items in the classic formal wear is mainly to achieve refinement and elegance. The main purpose of these components is to hide the fabric of the shirt in the front at the joining of it with the trousers even when the last button remains unbuttoned. This helps create a uninterrupted vertical line of the outfit thus giving out a elegant look.
While vests were the original components of the formal wear, cummerbunds have their history associated with India. The British military personnel stationed in India due to the country's melting temperature chose to wore sashes that were similar to the ones locals wore in their waist instead of wearing vests. These sashes were called kamarbands which derived into being called as cummerbunds.
Now back to the question - which one of the two should you choose when wearing a formal wear? The choice purely depends on your taste and preference since they are considered equal in their levels of formality. Cummerbunds are best suited for men with thinner waist and when worn properly can make a person look tall. For men with bulkier build it is better to go with vests. Also if the temperature is high cummerbunds is a better choice due to the lesser fabric.
If you choose to wear a vest make sure to wear them properly so that it fulfils its purpose. The formal vest should be long enough so that it covers the waist of the wearer in the front. It should completely cover the shirt fabric without them showing between the belt and the vest. The shirt that you wear should be of a good fit so that you avoid the ballooning of the shirt at the sides. The v shape of the vest should be narrow enough so that when worn under a suit coat it does not hide under the suit lapels completely. Sometimes the vests that are worn to formal events with tuxedos can be backless and have an adjustable strap at the back. They also may contain lapels and these vests are considered to be more formal than the normal ones. The lapels in these formal vests contain the facings in satin or grosgrain that is matching to the ones present in the jacket of the suit.