Morning coat – A strictly day-time garment
The most common type of morning coat features a herringbone black or charcoal pattern, a single button and pointed lapels; it should be paired with black or white striped trousers. A waistcoat and shirt are also crucial to achieve proper elegance; the British tradition calls for the former to be beige (and made of linen if you’re wearing it in the summer) and the latter to be light blue, preferably with a pattern of small squares or blue lines as well as a white collar and cuffs for that extra dash of formality.
The typical summer version is especially smart because it can be made of lighter fabric, using that grey or light-grey grisaille you see only in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.
A grey waistcoat and white shirt also look very smart. This is in fact the preferred combo in Italy, where morning coats tend to be more formal.
Typically, Italians prefer their morning coat with a grey, fine-pattern tie – the traditional ceremony tie. Other types of tie are also welcome, however.
A morning coat calls for strictly black, cap-toe Oxford shoes with optional punch holes.
Although the traditional British version is not as formal as its Italian counterpart, a morning coat is just as suitable for the same occasions. Do bear in mind, though, that if you’re invited to a wedding in Britain, only the groom and his father are allowed to wear a morning coat.
And always pair it with a double-breasted waistcoat, since the latter goes much better with a morning coat’s pointed lapels and overall formality.
Tommaso di Benedetto
Taken from A Proposito di Eleganza, Una Guida allo Stile Maschile, Mondadori
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