Traditional Tails / Morning Dress Guide

Morning dress, or formal day dress, is the traditional attire worn by men at weddings, formal society events, daytime events in the presence of H. M. The Queen- garden parties. Perhaps most famously, morning dress is worn in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.

Beau Brummel, the nineteenth-century style icon, first dictated a dress code for the Royal Enclosure, when he stated that ‘men of style should always be simply but elegantly dressed’. Although fashions have come and gone in the nearly two-hundred years hence, the foundations of the dress code remain the same.


  • A black or grey top hat . The hat should sit 1” above the ear and sit forwards so that it is positioned flat over the head.

  • A black or grey morning coat, single-breasted with peak lapels and ‘cutaway’ tails. The tails of the coat should fall to the back of the knee, the coat should button across the natural waistline.

  • Stripe, or matching trousers. Braces will help the trousers hang well and prevent a gap between the trouser waistband and waistcoat.

  • Traditionally, a plain crisp white shirt. We do quite a few wing collar styled shirts, more so with the cravats.

  • Grey or buff double-breasted waistcoat is most traditional, we offer a wide range of colours and styles to suit the modern times. Any of these can be either single or double breasted.

  • A simple tie in a grey, red, light blue, or yellow (a tie pin is traditional, but not necessary). These are traditional colours but we are finding that patterns are more of a statement and more popular. People still opt for a cravat too with weddings.

  • A plain or patterned silk or linen pocket square.

  • Black Shoes lace ups – not slip ons, patent or a nice Oxford.

  • Accessories such as a pocket watch, gloves, or a cane are all optional but can still be seen as a part of morning dress.


Although Grey or black are the traditional colours of a tail suit, other colours are also available from us for a morecontemporary look.

So, if you are tempted to try something a bit different, We have a mix of colours and cloths available in all three stores, along with slim fitting jackets. 

Colours range from, black, grey, silver, navy and mid blue and are available in traditional herringbone cloths or lighter weight fabric and plain fabrics.

Here are a few of our own weddings, showing some of the different ways our couples have worn this look:


Want to see all our colours head over to our Tailcoat section to see more looks.


Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and has been priviledged to retain Royal Patronage ever since. The members-only Royal Enclosure is one of the most prestigious destinations in the world, rightly worthy of its epitaph ‘Like Nowhere Else’.

While the basics of morning dress have already been covered, the specific requirements for Royal Ascot are described below. The following guide is taken from the official style guide and will help you prepare for a day at the Royal Meeting.

Gentlement are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats).

  • A black or grey top hat.

  • A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony, or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.

  • The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.
    Our Royals  certainly look amazing wearing this look.


Hope you enjoyed the read, more looks coming your way!




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