The morning suit consists of a morning coat in mid grey with a matching waistcoat and trousers. The word suit derives from the French suivre, which means ‘to follow,’ and hence the trousers
and waistcoat must be in the same fabric (or at least the same color) as the morning coat. In the past, non-matching morning coat outfits were sometimes also referred to as a suit. However, considering the heritage of the word, The Morning Dress Guide uses morning suit only for matching garments of morning coat, trousers and waistcoat.
The morning suit is generally considered to be of a less formal variety, and it is perfectly adequate at most occasions where a morning coat is required, with the exception of weddings. There, according to English tradition, only the groom, the father of the groom, or a Viscount is entitled to wear a morning suit.
Generally, the all mid grey morning suit is predominantly spotted at Derbies and Royal Ascot. Prince Charles owns a morning suit which he wears occasionally. Take a look at the picture of Baron Elie Rothschild (left) and Prince Ali Solomone Aga Khan – also known as Prince Aly Khan –
Aly Khan in Morning Suit in Chantilly 1951
(right) wearing a mid grey morning suit with a single breasted vest (note that he did not close his bottom vest button ) as well as a grey top hat. It was taken in 1949 at the race track in Chantilly during the “Prix du Jockey Club” – the highlight of the French Horse Race Season.
Since the morning suit is not as formal as its black counterpart, it is sometimes tailored with a less formal two button front or even a pocket which is incorporated into the horizontal seem.
Morning Suit Trousers & Vests
Morning Suit trousers and vests should be tailored from the same mid grey cloth as the morning coat and the waistcoat. With regard to the details and cut, everything we mentioned in out Morning Trouser article and Morning Vest article applies here as well.
Prince Charles in Mid Grey Morning Suit At Royal Ascot 2012
Duke of York in 1895 Future King George V. in Morning Suit
Morning Suit Ensemble 1912
Morning Suit Changes Over Time
Take a look at the three different pictures and see how the morning suits has developed over time. In 1895, the lapels were tiny, notched and slim, in 2012 they are wider and peaked. Collars used to be stiff and standing, now they are only rarely stiff but turned down most of the time. What is your favorite silhouette?