I was one of the many millions of people who watched – celebrated – the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last Friday. I absolutely loved Kate’s dress – simple, understated, elegance, quite like how she dresses normally. But I also loved seeing all of the other party-goers suits and frocks. While watching the festivities and reading subsequent news articles, I kept hearing about how wedding attendees were either wearing or not wearing what is considered morning dress in England. Although I’ve heard of women wearing one outfit for a morning wedding ceremony and changing into a more fun dress for the evening reception, I had never really heard of the term morning dress in a formal or royal sense.
According to Wikipedia:
Morning dress is the daytime formal dress code, consisting chiefly for men of a morning coat, waistcoat, and striped trousers, and an appropriate dress for women. Men may also wear a morning suit, a popular variant with all parts (morning coat, waistcoat and trousers) are the same colour/material, often grey.
Morning Dress (for men) consists of:
- Morning dress coat
- Formal striped or checked trousers
- Formal shirt with a turndown collar to tie, or a shirt with detachable wing collar
- Plain or patterned silk handkerchief or pocket squart
- Black Oxford shoes or dress boots
- Optional items – top hat, gloves, a cane or umbrella, a pocket watch or wrist watch, boutonniere
In modern day England, morning dress is rarely worn and is generally saved for weddings, some official government or Royal functions, races such as Royal Ascot, and as uniform at some of Britain’s most traditional schools such as Eton.
If you’re still not sure about what is considered modern day morning dress, check out David Beckham’s suit that he sported at Will and Kate’s wedding. Proof that even footballers can look dapper.