Morning Dress – A Gentleman’s Wardrobe

Morning dress
Morning dress

Morning dress, also known as formal day dress, is the formal Western dress code for day attire,[1] consisting chiefly of, for men, a morning coatwaistcoat, and formal trousers, and an appropriate gown for women. Men may also wear a popular variant where all parts (morning coat, waistcoat and trousers) are the same colour and material, often grey and usually called “morning suit” or “morning grey” to distinguish it;[2] considered properly appropriate only to festive functions[3] such as summer weddings and horse races,[4][5] which consequently makes it slightly less formal. The correct hat would be a formal top hat, or if on less spacious audience settings optionally a collapsible equivalent opera hat.

Should morning dress code be specified for the formal event, it should only be used for events starting before 18:00, after 18:00., white tie should be specified instead.[1][6] The semi-formal daytime counterpart of this code is the black lounge suit.[7][8]

Morning dress is generally restricted to certain weddings, royal, governmental or municipal audiences, and social season events, races. It may also be seen sometimes worn at church services, as well as fraternal orders, and gentlemen’s clubs.

Morning dress
Morning dress

  1.  Donald, Elsie, ed. (1981). Debrett’s Etiquette and Modern Manners. London: Debrett’s Peerage Limited. pp. 385–386. ISBN 0-905649-43-5.
  2. Antongiavanni, Nicholas (2006). The Suit. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-06-089186-2.
  3. Keers, Paul (1987). A Gentleman’s Wardrobe: Classic Clothes and the Modern Man. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 105. ISBN 0-297-79191-5.
  4. Wyse, Elizabeth (2015). Debrett’s Handbook. Mayfair, London: Debrett’s Limited. pp. 185–187. ISBN 978-0-9929348-1-1.
  5. Tuckerman, Nancy; Dunnan, Nancy (1995). The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette: 50th Anniversary Edition (1 ed.). New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-385413428.
  6. Post, Anna; Post, Lizzie (2014). Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette (6 ed.). New York: The Emily Post Institute, Inc. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-06-232610-2.
  7. “Wedding Suits – A Suit That Fits”.
  8. Hume, Lucy (2017). Debrett’s Wedding Handbook. Mayfair, London: Debrett’s Limited. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-9929348-4-2.
  9. Antongiavanni, Nicholas (2006). The Suit. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-06-089186-2.
  10. Keers, Paul (1987). A Gentleman’s Wardrobe: Classic Clothes and the Modern Man. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 104. ISBN 0-297-79191-5.

First Published: June 2002, Updated May 2004, June 2015, June 2019.