Like many formal garments, the cummerbund started life as military-wear. It was worn by British officers in colonial India as a cooler alternative to the waistcoat, and was later picked up for general wear by civilians. The word cummerbund stems from ‘karmaband’, which was a Persian garment literally meaning ‘waist-band’. The cummerbund is a wide piece of fabric that wraps around the waist – now worn as an optional alternative to a waistcoat at black tie events.
Although simple, the cummerbund is a wardrobe essential for anyone who regularly attends formal dinners and events. It pulls in the waist and creates a flattering figure, whilst giving the body room to breathe (limiting the risk of sweat patches). It also provides an attractive splash of color at special occasions such as weddings, enabling the wearer to get creative and show a little personality. As well as our formal range in demure colors, we also stock a number of different patterns and shades to spice up a classic tuxedo or suit.
Cummerbunds serve a number of purposes – from keeping the wearer cool and slimming the silhouette, to catching crumbs at table and providing a safe place to keep tickets. The cummerbund helps create the powerful v-shape of white at the front of a tuxedo when the jacket is on. Without it, there would be too much billowing shirt material messing up the aesthetic.
Stray from the norm by opting for a cummerbund instead of a vest at your next formal event or wedding. They can be chosen as groomsmen wedding attire, or for the groom himself. Match the color of your cummerbund with the bridesmaid’s dresses for a coordinated look.