If you’re planning on wearing a morning suit to an event, you might be unsure of the correct etiquette. The last thing you want is to show wearing the wrong suit and looking under or over-dressed.
We’ve put together this guide on morning suit etiquette to help. We’ll cover what a morning suit is, how to wear one, and the difference between morning suits, lounge suits and evening suits.
What is a morning suit?
A morning suit (or morning dress) is worn to formal daytime events. Morning dress usually consists of a long, formal jacket with tails, a waistcoat, and striped trousers. Morning dress was traditionally worn to daytime events before 6 pm in the mid-19th century.
The defining element of a morning suit is the formal jacket with peak lapels and tails. A morning suit is sometimes called ‘tails’ because of the unique swallowtail that hangs at the back of the jacket. This tail should fall just below the knees and hang perfectly.
The morning coat is typically paired with a single or double-breasted waistcoat in a neutral colour such as cream, beige, and grey. Traditionally, striped trousers complete morning dress, but these are no longer expected at modern events. Instead, opting for suit trousers in the same or similar colour as your morning suit jacket is popular. It’s often traditionally worn with a black or grey top hat.
Check out our blog, ‘What is a morning suit?’ for more details.
How to wear a morning suit?
There are several morning suit styles with different levels of formality. For example, a black morning suit is considered more formal than a grey one. A black morning suit with a matching black waistcoat should be worn for court, funerals, memorials and civic dress.
However, a contrasting waistcoat is usually worn at other formal daytime events, like weddings or races. Dove grey or powder blue are traditional choices, but for more modern events, you can choose more unusual colours, such as pale yellow or light pink.
How to decide between morning dress or a lounge suit?
What’s a lounge suit?
A lounge suit is the less formal version of a morning suit that also originates from the mid-19th century. It’s also referred to as a business suit and can be worn to the office, events, christenings, and weddings. It’s a shorter jacket than a morning suit making it more suitable for regular wear.
You can get a two-piece or three-piece lounge suit which is either single or double-breasted. Traditionally the waistcoat, jacket and trousers would be made from the same material, but contemporary lounge suits often mix and match colours, patterns and fabric.
Morning suit or lounge suit
If you’re struggling to decide between a morning suit and a lounge suit, the main difference is the level of formality. If you’re looking for a suit that you can wear regularly to the office or for business meetings, and for special occasions, a lounge suit will probably be the right choice. However, if you’re looking for a formal suit to wear to a formal daytime event, such as Royal Ascot, a morning suit will help you stand out from the crowd.
Morning suit or lounge suit for weddings
Morning dress is a popular choice for grooms and members of the wedding party at formal daytime weddings. However, very few UK daytime weddings will insist on a morning dress code unless they’re very formal affairs. A lounge suit might be more appropriate if you’re attending a daytime wedding as a guest unless the dress code specifies otherwise.
What’s the difference between a morning suit and tails
Although a morning suit is sometimes called ‘tails’, this can also refer to evening tails or a dress suit. Evening tails should only be worn with a white tie dress code to formal evening events. Morning and evening suits are both formal suits, but one should be worn to daytime events and the other to evening events.
Morning suit vs evening suit
There are several differences between morning dress and full evening dress. For evening dress, the tailcoat should always be black and should never be buttoned up. A white waistcoat, a white dress shirt with a wing collar and bib, and a matching white bow tie should always accompany it.
How Phillip Alexander can help
If you want to purchase a quality tailored morning suit, evening suit, or lounge suit, we can help you.
Philip Alexander Bespoke Tailors have been crafting stunning bespoke suits since 1976. Based in Savile Row in London and Cheshire, you can rely on our years of experience to help you find the perfect suit for you, whatever the occasion.
Our bespoke suit service is an unparalleled experience that results in a perfectly fitting one-of-a-kind suit handcrafted by our master tailor. We have years of experience creating luxurious bespoke suits for weddings and other formal occasions. Our tailored wedding suits are the perfect solution if you want to stand out at an upcoming wedding.
Our made to measure suits are a more cost-effective and time-conscious option than our bespoke suits. Using a mixture of handcraft and machine work, we create a stunning and well-fitting suit that’s ready in less than two months. We also offer made to measure wedding suits.
Our luxury tailored suit hire is ideal if you want to wear a stunning tailored suit on a special occasion but aren’t ready to invest in one of your own. We offer several fitting sessions to ensure the best fit possible on the big day.
Get in contact with us today to find out more about the tailored suits we offer!