Morning dress is also known as ‘ formal day dress’. The jacket is always referred to as a ‘morning coat’. Morning dress is traditional for men at weddings, formal memorial services, some official functions and formal daytime events in the presence of The Queen and some Season locations, such as the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. Morning dress should not be specified to be worn at an event starting after 6pm.
Morning Dress: Men
– A black or grey matt morning coat, single-breasted with peaked lapels, curved front edges sloping back into tails.
– Trousers are grey or grey and black-striped.
– A white or light-coloured shirt with a white turned-down collar, double-cuffs and cufflinks.
– Waistcoats are usually buff, grey or duck-egg blue and double or single-breasted. Double-breasted waistcoats may have a lapel, either shawl or peak, and are worn fully buttoned. Singlebreasted waistcoats either have a step collar or no collar, and the lowest button is always left undone. Fancy waistcoats, such as those worn by members of the Eton Society, are sometimes worn, especially at weddings. Avoid anything backless.
– Ties are preferred to cravats. A smart woven silk tie is acceptable. A tie pin will add an extra flourish of dandyism.
– Highly polished (not patent) black lace-up/smart slip-on shoes.
– A grey or black top hat is worn with morning dress for racing but at most other events it is carried rather than worn and may be dispensed with.
– A handkerchief may be worn in the left breast pocket with an understated buttonhole.
Morning Dress: Women
– Smart daywear, such as a dress or skirt worn with a jacket.
– Dresses should not be too short or too revealing. They may be worn with no jacket in summer but if so, should be modest with sleeves or at least not narrow straps.
– Shoulders may be covered by a bolero, shrug or pashmina but a tailored jacket or coat is better for the races or smart weddings.
– Avoid very high heels or evening-style shoes – wedges are sensible if it may be soft underfoot (eg around churchyards, marquees or racecourses). Tights should be worn.
– Daytime jewellery; pearls are a good choice.
– Hats are usual, especially at weddings, but not always required. They are essential for certain Season settings, such as the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. It is best to choose a hat that may be kept on throughout the day and which is securely fitted.