All About Waist Coats

All About Waist Coats!

We have watched enough movie stars, taking out pocket watches from the pockets of their waist coats in style. Of course, the arrival of mobiles has made pocket watches go out of fashion. But the waist coats are still popular and part of men’s wardrobe.

The waist coat is a British contribution to the world of men’s wear. It was supposed to be designed by King Charles II, in the 17th century.

A waist coat is part of a suit worn by men as formal wear. It is a close fitting waist length garment. It has no sleeves or collar. It is buttoned down the front and is typically worn over a shirt and under the jacket. It opens in the front, closed with buttons or snaps. The number of buttons fixed to close the waist coat may vary from 2 to 6 buttons, depending on the style, cut and look of the suit.

Types of waist coats:

There are two types of waist coats, single breasted and double breasted. The single breasted waist coats are more popular than double breasted ones. The double-breasted waist coats provide a formal look. They give a dashing look as the right hand side extends over the left side. They are fastened with two rows of buttons, with or without a collar or a simple v neck. The can sport from one to four pockets.

The single breasted waist coats have a single row of buttons, one to four buttons to fasten the front, and like the double breasted waist coats, they can have a collar or without a collar. And like the double breasted waist coats, the single breasted coats also can have one to four pockets.
There is one more version of waist coats, called the short waist coat. It is worn longer than the double breasted waist coats. Unlike the traditional, formal style where the braces are worn to hold the trousers up, the short waist coat style as the name suggests is short, revealing the belt and some bit of shirt worn underneath. As the style is different from the traditional formal suits, this is worn to convey a youthful, cool look.

How should it be carried?

The waist coat which is part of the 3-piece suit is made from the same material as the suit. The waist coat can also have lapels.  Though they are part of a formal suit, waist coats can be worn without the more formal jacket. The waist coat has another version which helps men to show off their torso. Designed for men with an athletic built, this waist coat is single-breasted.

The formal waist coats, which are part of a three-piece suit, also have a less formal version. These casual waist coats are worn over jeans and t-shirt.

Fashion designers also experiment with the style and look of the waist coats, its height, cut and the cut of the neck. Called as gorge, the upside down v of the waist coat can be short or long, depending on the look and style the designers wish to reflect.

Waist coats come in number of colours, as varied as black, brown, grey, steel grey, gold, green, ivory, the more dashing red and purple. There are waist coats with piping and lapels.
Waist coats are made from different fabrics like the elaborate dressy brocade, silk, cotton, wool, tweed, and suede.

Waist coats are worn with a bow tie. As it has happened with many other men’s clothing, even women have liked the style of a waist coat and have made it part of their ward robe.

The waist coat is worn in a variety ways. Worn as part of the 3-piece suit, it portrays a traditional formal look. When worn without the jacket but with formal trousers, it is a semi-formal look. But when it is worn on jeans, it is chic casual.

Waist coats come with collars or revere. The collars can from the same material as the suit or a contrast colour which adds a bit of drama.

The pockets of waist coats also have a style statement. Earlier pocket watches used to be kept in the top pocket with a chain fastened in the buttons to make sure that the fancy pocket watch does not slip and fall. These days, a pocket square has replaced the pocket watch if you are not wearing the jacket.

As the waist coat is worn over the shirt, a belt is not worn with the waist coat. Instead, a pair of braces is worn under the waist coat.

There is one rule that gentlemen must absolutely follow if you don’t wish to make style faux pox and that is when you are wearing a single breasted waist coat, leave the last button on the waist coat open.

You can accessorise the waist coats with a pocket watch, a pocket square or a lapel pin. A horse shoe waist coat is worn with a bow tie. They should fit well, without too loose arms or the back.

Different waist coats available at PN Rao

PN Rao, a source of fine suits since 1923, offers a range of waist coats as part of the full formal suits. As the waist coats are part of formal wear, we offer them for all occasions. The Indo Western style is for formal occasions and events that straddle Indian and Western cultures.

For formal occasions of purely Indian culture, PN Rao offers an Ethnic range of styles, colours and looks for the Indian occasions. Our range includes Jodhpur button waist coat, the 4 button shawl waist coat, 3 piece suit with a contrast fabric colours, the Single button suit with contrast collar and waist coat.

These waist coats come in colours in varies shades of grey and black. Our collection also includes Printed waist coats.

These waist coats make very distinct style statement and convey unique looks, as unique as personalities of men who wear it. You can choose the one that goes with your personality and enjoy your evening out in style.

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