When to choose a morning suit
What is a morning suit?
The morning suit, a garment at the staple of every gentlemen’s occasion wear. Today we see the morning suit or morning coat at high profile swanky occasions such as Ascot and weddings. But how did the morning suit become the garment we know today and just what are the origins?
The exact origins of the coats are not known, but historians claim the classic split in the back was a result of inspiration from riding coats during the 18th and 19th Century, in order to accommodate the horses back whilst still being able to cover the horse (bringing up the rear no doubt!) Horseback riding was commonly a morning activity, hence the name morning coat.
Of course, the suit does not consist of just a coat, but also matching waist coat and trousers. (Rather fitting if we consider ‘suit’ stems from the French word ‘suivre’ meaning to follow.)
The entire suit itself was not worn extensively until the end of the 19th Century. Influences such as British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1874-1880) known, for his eccentric dress championed the morning suit during a public speech about Darwin and his theories. Disraeli wore a black velvet morning coat, influential in both politics and fashion we salute you Sir.
The appearance of the ensemble at weddings was first widely accepted after the future King George V and King of Denmark Christian IX arrived at the wedding of the Duke of York in 1893 sporting the morning suit attire. With Royalty setting the trend, the morning suit was received as formal dress among society’s high class.
Society would then fall for Royalty’s ‘forward fashion’ again in 1926 when royal fashionista King George V attended Chelsea flower show for the first time in a morning suit.
After the war, the morning suit fell out of favour, appearing to be only worn by members of the upper class. As we know today it is only worn by a groom and since and had no use for the ensemble other than their wedding day, the suit began as rental attire.
The decline of the morning suit continued well into the 50’s and 60’s with the modern man choosing more casual and practical fashions. We now know the dress to be only required by every dapper gentleman at royal or formal weddings or in the royal arena at the Royal Ascot Horse Race. But all in all we see that class never goes out of style!
Today’s fashionable gents opt for a mid grey tone coat with matching waistcoat and trousers. The coat consists of wide and peaked lapels with a turned down collar, less stiff than earlier coat designs.
At Alexandra Wood, they are the least common bespoke suit to purchase, most opting for hire wear. However, a lot of fun can be had when designing your own and the standard black coat with grey striped trousers is less frequent these days. Most recently, Alexandra designed a bespoke Navy morning coat with tartan waistcoat for a Castle wedding.
Thinking of purchasing your own bespoke morning suit for Ascot or your wedding? Alexandra can help yours to look truly unique.
Want to look devishly handsome, mix up your morning coat image or upgrade, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org