The time for putting together your formal outfit for a wedding or special occasion has arrived, and you’re faced with common questions. Should you wear a tuxedo with suspenders and a cummerbund, or choose only a cummerbund? Or, should you settle for suspenders alone?
The quick answer is that it depends on how formal you wish to be with your attire. All options are acceptable for contemporary formal tux fashion, but there are rules of formality that you may want to follow.
The Suspender Rule for Tuxedos
Regardless of modern sensibilities, there are certain rules regarding tuxedos that are passed down from generation to generation. One of these rules is that you should always wear suspenders with a tux. This isn’t just for show, it’s also for practical reasons. If this is your first time wearing a tux, it may come as a surprise to find out that traditional tuxedo pants don’t have belt loops. Because these are formal pants, the idea of adding a bulky belt seems out of place, so belt loops are left out to avoid a fashion mistake.
Thankfully, suspenders are a natural solution to the dilemma of slipping pants. In fact, another rule for tuxedos is to never let the pants waist drop below the tuxedo jacket. Formal dress suspenders help keep your pants aligned just right with the jacket.
The Role of the Cummerbund
The cummerbund is more than just a fancy fashion accessory. Its main role is to cover up flaws around the waist, creating an attractive mid-section. You may hear of cummerbunds being amusingly referred to as “crumb catchers” for their amazing ability to catch food particles. If crumb-free pants and a sleek-looking waist are things you desire, it’s a nice addition to a tux. Is it mandatory? No.
Paring Suspenders with a Cummerbund
Wearing suspenders with a tuxedo is common, and adding a cummerbund to your formal outfit is strictly a matter of style preference. Generally, the addition of a cummerbund raises the level of formality a few notches. Fortunately, these two accessories look great together, but be sure to choose similar colors to avoid clashes. If you’re wondering about color choices, you can find upscale satin formal button suspenders in popular contemporary colors.