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Morning Suit Etiquette

If you are considering a morning suit, then it is important to understand traditional morning suit etiquette. As Mark Twain said, “the clothes make the man”; it is important you choose attire that fits the occasion. For men who want to look the part – the morning suit is acceptable formal daywear, and tuxedos, also known as dinner jackets, are the acceptable evening wear option.

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Traditionally, morning suits are worn by the male members of a wedding party and for formal social events such as Royal Ascot, Royal events such as court events or garden parties and investitures. Morning dress may also be worn at society funerals and memorials.

Traditionally a morning suit comprises a grey or black tailcoat paired with either striped or plain trousers. As the name tailcoat suggests, the morning suit coat is curved in cut at the front, sloping away into tails at the back. Tailcoats are single breasted with one button and a peaked lapel. Black is the most formal colour, however charcoal or oxford grey is also considered acceptable.

Trousers are cut high with a single pleat down the middle and no cuffs. Grey trousers should be worn with a grey coat and grey trousers with a black stripe should be paired with a black coat.


A plain white shirt should be worn with a waistcoat or vest, with either a tie or cravat being considered acceptable for most occasions. Although traditionally morning suit waistcoats are grey, one may choose to personalise this aspect of his morning suit by choosing a different colour.

According to morning suit etiquette, the finished look should be accessorised with a black or grey top hat and gloves. Shoes should not be slip on – only highly polished lace up black shoes are acceptable, and these are to be paired with black socks. Cufflinks and a handkerchief are optional, however may add a polished appearance to the overall presentation of the morning suit.

Thank you to Henry Herbert Tailors, a bespoke suit and shirt tailors on London’s prestigious Savile Row for their insight into morning etiquette. They offer a personalised morning suit tailoring service and can advise on correct morning suit etiquette.


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