Accessories Formal Wear

What Is A Cummerbund

justin timberlake wearing a cummerbund

Normally associated with 80’s weddings or bad prom outfits, and not to be mistaken with British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. The cummerbund (not “cumberband”), is a men’s accessory not looked on favourably in the style stakes.

When is it worn?

The cummerbund is a black tie dress code mainstay, and harks back to the original rules to this type of dressing. A key one being that a gentleman should have the working areas of his outfit hidden. Typically you will find jacket buttons are satin covered, shirt buttons are studs and a cummerbund is worn over the top of the trousers. It removes the unsightly shirt bunching from view but also pinches in the waist to elongate the man’s silhouette

What material is it?

The recommended cummerbund material is satin or a grosgrain, with downward facing pleats. The idea is when worn with a jacket you create the power v (the area of shirt showing) and as a result a bow tie is always part of a winning combination. If possible try and get a bow tie in the same material.

A particular reason it has gone out of fashion is the aforementioned ill fitting and badly colour chosen cummerbunds worn at weddings and proms over the years. If worn properly the cummerbund is still a debonair accessory perfect for black tie events that should be in every gentleman’s wardrobe.




Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.

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