Glossary of Formal Wear Terms

Ascot
A tie with broad ends hanging from a knot, secured with an ornamental pins. An ascot is normally worn for daytime weddings with a wing tip shirt and a Cutaway jacket.
Besom Pockets
Self fabric or satin strip above pocket. Double besom is two strips, one over pocket opening and one on top of pocket.
Black Tie Optional
An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket may be worn but is not required. Proper dressy attire (suit, not a sport coat) is necessary.
Boutonniere
Flower that is pinned on the left lapel.
Bow Tie
A self-tie bow tie is a ribbon of fabric that is tied around the collar symmetrically into a bow shape. A pre-tied bow tie is already tied into a bow and then clips on
Braces
The English term for suspenders. Can be fastened to the waistband with either clips (clip-on) or buttons (button-on).
Collar Extender
A plastic button with a loop that attaches to the top button of the shirt to add more room in the neck and make the shirt more comfortable.
Cuff Links
Decorative accessories that keep a shirt cuff closed. Always required when wearing a French Cuff shirt.
Cummerbund
A broad sash worn over the waistband of the pants. Always worn with the pleats facing up.
Cutaway (aka morning coat)
A long jacket, rounded off at the bottom, with no satin. Worn for daytime affairs.
Dinner Jacket
Usually a white shawl collar jacket. Can be single or double breasted and is worn with black tuxedo pants.
Double Breasted
A tuxedo jacket that overlaps itself in the front, usually with 4 or 6 buttons. Always worn closed. A cummerbund or high button vest is usually worn with this jacket
Fedora
A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.
Flap Pocket
A standard pocket on a coat, usually self-fabric, with a flap over pocket opening.
French Cuff
Double folded shirt cuff requiring cuff links.
Fullback Vest
Similar to a continental vest but with a full satin back like on a traditional three-piece suit. Usually found with an adjustable strap across the lower back to cinch-in any excess fabric.
Full Dress
Very formal dress, the same as white tie. Black Tails, black tuxedo pants, white pique wing tip shirt, white pique tie and vest, and formal shoes should be worn.
Peak Lapel
The coats lapel is cut upward and outward.
Pocket Square
Handkerchief or piece of fabric put in breast pocket to accessorize the coat. Pocket squares are usually white or match the tie and vest/cummerbund.
Shawl Lapel
Coat has a smooth collar and lapel that forms an unbroken piece extending from the collar to the bottom of the lapel.

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