Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Waistcoat

Waistcoat   

A waistcoat in BrE (/ˈwɛskət/ or /ˈweɪstkoʊt/; colloquially called a weskit), or vest in AmE, is a sleeveless upper-body garment. It is usually worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear. It is also sported as the third piece in the traditional three-piece male lounge suit. Any given vest can be simple or ornate, or for leisure or luxury. Historically, the vest can be worn either in the place of or underneath a larger coat dependent upon the weather, wearer, and setting.

Daytime formal wear and semi-formal wear commonly comprises a contrastingly coloured waistcoat, such as in buff or dove gray, still seen in morning dress and black lounge suit. For white tie and black tie, it is traditionally white and black, respectively.

The term waistcoat is used in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries.The term vest is used widely in the United States and Canada, and is often worn as part of formal attire or as the third piece of a lounge suit in addition to a jacket and trousers. The term vest derives from the French language veste “jacket, sport coat", the term for a vest-waistcoat in French today being "gilet", the Italian language veste "robe, gown", and the Latin language vestis. The term vest in European countries refers to the A-shirt, a type of athletic vest. The Banyan, a garment of India, is commonly called a vest in Indian English.

A waistcoat has a full vertical opening in the front, which fastens with buttons or snaps. Both single-breasted and double-breasted waistcoats exist, regardless of the formality of dress, but single-breasted ones are more common. In a three piece suit, the cloth used matches the jacket and trousers. Waistcoats can also have lapels or revers depending on the style.

Before wristwatches became popular, gentlemen kept their pocket watches in the front waistcoat pocket, with the watch on a watch chain threaded through a buttonhole. Sometimes an extra hole was made in line with the pockets for this use. A bar on the end of the chain held it in place to catch the chain if it were dropped or pulled.

Wearing a belt with a waistcoat, and indeed any suit, is not traditional. To give a more comfortable hang to the trousers, the waistcoat instead covers a pair of braces (suspenders in the U.S.) underneath it.

A custom still sometimes practised is to leave the bottom button undone. This is said to have been started by King Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales), whose expanding waistline required it. Variations on this include that he forgot to fasten the lower button when dressing and this was copied. It has also been suggested that the practice originated to prevent the waistcoat riding up when on horseback. Undoing the bottom button avoids stress to the bottom button when sitting down; when it is fastened, the bottom of the waistcoat pulls sideways causing wrinkling and bulging, since modern waistcoats are cut lower than old ones. This convention only applies to single-breasted day waistcoats and not double breasted, evening, straight-hem or livery waistcoats that are all fully buttoned.

Waiters, sometimes also waitresses, and other people working at white-tie events, to distinguish themselves from guests, sometimes wear gray tie, which consists of the dress coat of white tie (a squarely cut away tailcoat) with the black waistcoat and tie of black tie.




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