Who Wore Proper Morning Dress at Prince Harry’s Wedding?

If you’re attending a wedding, it’s crucial to dress appropriately for the occasion. At Prince Harry’s wedding, the dress code was Proper Morning Dress, which left many guests wondering what to wear.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what Proper Morning Dress entails, the importance of wearing it, and some common mistakes to avoid when dressing for such an occasion. We’ll also highlight our top picks for the best-dressed guests at Prince Harry’s wedding.

If you want to make sure you’re dressed to impress at your next formal event or simply want to know more about what constitutes Proper Morning Dress, then keep reading!

What is Proper Morning Dress?

Morning Dress is a formal dress code that is typically worn for daytime events such as weddings or races. It is the daytime equivalent of white tie dress code and is considered the most formal dress code for daytime events. Morning dress is steeped in tradition and has strict guidelines for both men and women.

For men, morning dress consists of a black or grey morning coat, striped trousers, waistcoat, white shirt, tie, and black shoes. A top hat is also customary, although it is not always necessary. Men can accessorize their morning dress with gloves and a pocket square to complete the look.

For women, the traditional morning dress attire is a formal day dress or skirt suit, typically in a neutral color. The hemline should be below the knee, and a hat or fascinator is a must. Women can accessorize their morning dress with gloves and jewelry to complete the look.

It is important to note that morning dress is not the same as a business suit or business casual attire. Morning dress is the most formal daytime dress code and is reserved for special occasions.

Proper morning dress etiquette also dictates that all clothing should fit properly and be tailored to the individual’s body shape. The clothing should be pressed, clean, and well-maintained. Any accessories should be tasteful and appropriate for the occasion.

In conclusion, morning dress is a formal dress code that has strict guidelines for both men and women. It is not the same as business attire and should only be worn for special daytime events. When wearing morning dress, it is important to adhere to proper etiquette and ensure that all clothing is well-fitted and well-maintained.

Definition of Morning Dress

  1. Morning dress is a formal dress code primarily worn in daytime events such as weddings, funerals, and formal horse racing events.

  2. It is often referred to as formal day dress, and it is a step below white-tie dress code in terms of formality.

  3. The essential components of the morning dress code for men include a black or gray morning coat, matching trousers, a waistcoat, a dress shirt, a tie, and a top hat.

  4. For women, the appropriate attire includes a formal day dress or a tailored suit with a skirt and a hat.

The morning dress code has been around for many years, and it continues to be a popular choice for formal daytime events. Understanding the definition of morning dress is essential to dressing appropriately for these occasions.

When is Morning Dress Appropriate?

  • Weddings: Morning dress is a popular choice for daytime weddings, especially those held before 6 p.m.
  • Royal Events: Members of the royal family often wear morning dress to formal events, such as garden parties or Ascot.
  • Formal Events: Morning dress is considered appropriate for certain formal events, such as state funerals or diplomatic receptions.
  • Races: Morning dress is often seen at horse racing events, such as the Kentucky Derby or Royal Ascot.

It’s important to note that the dress code for events may vary by location and culture. It’s always a good idea to check with the event organizer or host to ensure that you are dressed appropriately.

The Elements of Proper Morning Dress

  • Coat: The coat should be a black or grey tailcoat with peaked lapels and a single button fastening. It should be made of wool and be well-fitted.
  • Waistcoat: The waistcoat should be made of a light-colored fabric, either buff or dove grey, and should be single-breasted with a V-neckline.
  • Trousers: The trousers should be black or grey with a satin stripe down the sides and no cuffs. They should be worn with suspenders or braces.
  • Shirt: The shirt should be white and made of a fine cotton or linen material. It should have a wing collar and be worn with a white bow tie.

The proper morning dress outfit is completed with black leather Oxford shoes and a top hat. It is important to ensure that all of these elements are well-fitted and of high quality. Wearing any of these items incorrectly can detract from the overall look of the outfit.

Morning dress is traditionally worn for events that take place before 6 pm, such as weddings, formal daytime events, and races. It is considered to be a more formal dress code than lounge suit, but less formal than white tie.

The elements of proper morning dress have remained largely unchanged for over a century. While there may be some variations in the color and fabric of the individual pieces, the basic components of the outfit have remained the same.

The Importance of Wearing Proper Morning Dress

Respect for the Occasion: Wearing proper morning dress is not only a sign of respect for the occasion but also for the host who has put in efforts to make the event a success. It reflects your acknowledgment of the importance of the event and your appreciation for the host.

Etiquette and Tradition: Proper morning dress is a timeless tradition that has been passed down for generations. It’s not only a way to show respect but also an important part of the event’s etiquette. The dress code also adds to the sophistication and formality of the event.

Personal Image: Your choice of attire speaks a lot about you and your personality. Wearing the right attire for the occasion shows that you are aware of the norms and customs, and you respect them. Wearing proper morning dress is also a great way to stand out and make a statement without being too flashy.

Show Respect for the Occasion and Host

Proper morning dress is essential to show respect for the occasion and host. Whether you are attending a royal wedding or a business conference, morning dress reflects your appreciation for the event’s significance and importance. It is a sign of good manners and a way of showing respect to the host, who has taken the time and effort to organize the event.

The right outfit can also help you feel more confident and comfortable in a formal setting. Morning dress sets the tone for the occasion, and you will feel more at ease knowing you have dressed appropriately. Wearing the proper attire also shows that you have done your research and understand the expectations for the event.

Lastly, dressing appropriately for the occasion shows that you take pride in your appearance and care about making a good impression. Whether you are attending a wedding, a business conference, or a charity event, your outfit speaks volumes about your character and your respect for others.

Enhance the Overall Aesthetic of the Event

Proper morning dress is not only about showing respect for the occasion and host, but it can also enhance the overall aesthetic of the event. When all the guests are dressed appropriately, it creates a cohesive and visually pleasing atmosphere.

The combination of top hat, tails, and waistcoat creates a sophisticated and elegant look for men. For women, a formal day dress paired with a hat or fascinator can be equally stunning.

Wearing proper morning dress also adds to the overall ambiance of the event. It helps set the tone for the occasion and creates a sense of formality that is often expected at formal events.

By adhering to the dress code, guests can contribute to the success of the event by adding to its overall aesthetic appeal.

History of Morning Dress

Origins: Morning dress originated in the late 18th century as a less formal version of the earlier frock coat.

Victorian Era: Morning dress became more standardized in the Victorian era, with a black or grey tailcoat, striped trousers, and a waistcoat.

Edwardian Era: In the early 20th century, morning dress became even more formal, with a black or charcoal tailcoat, matching trousers, a double-breasted waistcoat, and a top hat.

Post-World War II: After World War II, morning dress became less common in everyday wear and reserved for special occasions such as weddings and formal events.

Modern Day: Today, morning dress is still worn for certain occasions, with variations in style and color depending on cultural norms and personal taste.

The Evolution of Morning Dress

The history of morning dress dates back to the late 18th century when it was first worn by English gentlemen as a formal dress for daytime events.

During the 19th century, morning dress became more formalized, with strict rules governing its use and design. The tailcoat was introduced, and it became the centerpiece of the outfit.

As the 20th century progressed, morning dress became less formal, and the cutaway coat replaced the tailcoat as the most popular option. However, morning dress remained a staple of formal events, including weddings, races, and other daytime occasions.

Today, morning dress is less common than it once was, but it still has a place in many formal events. The dress code has also evolved to allow for more personal expression, with different colors and patterns now being acceptable.

Despite these changes, morning dress continues to be an essential part of formal dress codes, reflecting both the history and tradition of formal dressing.

Breaking Down the Morning Dress Code

If you’re unfamiliar with the morning dress code, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. However, by breaking down the dress code into its individual components, it can become more manageable.

The first component of morning dress is the tailcoat, which is typically black and made of wool. The waistcoat and trousers should also be black and made of wool, with the waistcoat typically featuring a light-colored pique fabric.

To complete the look, you’ll need to add a white dress shirt, black leather shoes, and a black top hat. Accessories such as gloves, a cane, and a pocket square can also be added for an extra touch of style.

The Tailcoat

The tailcoat, also known as the “morning coat,” is the most iconic element of morning dress. The tailcoat is typically black or grey and made of wool, with a single button and peaked lapels. The coat’s tails are longer at the back and reach to the back of the knee. The coat should fit snugly but not be tight around the chest and waist.

The tailcoat should always be worn with matching black or grey trousers, which should have a single stripe of satin down the leg. Black leather Oxford or patent leather shoes are also a must, and should be polished to a high shine. Additionally, a white dress shirt with a wing or turndown collar and double cuffs is necessary, along with a plain or subtly patterned silk tie that complements the coat and trousers.

When it comes to accessories, a black or grey top hat is a traditional and elegant choice. Gloves can also be worn, but are not essential. A waistcoat can be added to the outfit, but it should match the coat and trousers and be made of a lightweight fabric such as cotton or linen.

The Waistcoat

The waistcoat, also known as a vest, is an essential part of the morning dress code. It is typically worn in a contrasting color to the jacket and trousers, adding a pop of color and visual interest to the outfit. The waistcoat should be made from the same fabric as the jacket and trousers, with a high stand collar and a low-cut front that shows off the shirt and tie.

The waistcoat should fit snugly to the body, with no excess fabric or bunching at the sides. It should cover the waistband of the trousers, creating a smooth and polished appearance. The waistcoat is also an excellent way to showcase unique patterns or textures, such as a subtle herringbone or a bold plaid.

When choosing a waistcoat, it is essential to consider the occasion and dress code. For formal events, a solid or subtle patterned waistcoat in a classic color such as black, navy, or grey is the best choice. For less formal events, a bolder color or pattern can be a fun and stylish choice, as long as it is tasteful and appropriate for the occasion.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Wearing Morning Dress

Ill-fitting clothing: One of the most common mistakes when wearing morning dress is to wear ill-fitting clothing. This can detract from the overall aesthetic of the outfit and ruin the look.

Inappropriate accessories: Another common mistake is to wear inappropriate accessories. It is important to choose accessories that complement the outfit, rather than clash with it.

Wearing the wrong shoes: Shoes are an essential part of any outfit, and this is especially true when wearing morning dress. Wearing the wrong shoes can ruin the entire look, so it is important to choose the right footwear.

Forgetting to wear a hat: Finally, forgetting to wear a hat can be a major mistake when wearing morning dress. Hats not only complete the outfit, but they also offer protection from the sun and can add an extra layer of style.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

One of the most common mistakes people make when wearing morning dress is choosing the wrong shoes. The shoes should be black leather and polished to a high shine.

Never wear brown shoes with morning dress, even if they are polished. They simply do not match the formality of the attire.

The shoes should also be appropriate for the occasion. Oxfords are the most formal and traditional choice, but other styles, such as loafers or brogues, may be acceptable for less formal events.

Make sure the shoes fit properly and are comfortable. You will be on your feet for most of the event, and discomfort can quickly ruin the experience.

Our Top Picks for Best-Dressed Guests at Prince Harry’s Wedding

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was one of the most anticipated events of the year, and it did not disappoint in terms of fashion. Here are our top picks for best-dressed guests:

David Beckham – The former footballer looked dapper in a charcoal grey morning suit paired with a light grey waistcoat and a stylish top hat.

Amal Clooney – The human rights lawyer stunned in a canary yellow Stella McCartney dress with a matching hat and clutch.

Lady Kitty Spencer – Princess Diana’s niece turned heads in a green floral Dolce & Gabbana dress, complemented by a Philip Treacy hat and diamond earrings.

David Beckham

Sartorial Style: Beckham is known for his impeccable style and is considered a fashion icon. For Prince Harry’s wedding, he wore a tailored charcoal grey morning coat with contrasting black trousers, a crisp white shirt, a silver tie, and a light gray waistcoat. He accessorized his look with black leather shoes and a pair of round-framed sunglasses.

Attention to Detail: Beckham paid attention to every detail of his outfit. He accessorized his look with a pair of elegant cufflinks and a pocket square that complemented the color of his waistcoat. He also wore a traditional top hat, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to his outfit.

Overall Impression: Beckham’s outfit was a perfect blend of traditional morning dress and modern fashion. His attention to detail and impeccable style made him one of the best-dressed guests at the wedding. He set a high standard for other guests to follow.

Amal Clooney

Elegant: Amal Clooney looked elegant in a custom-made yellow dress by designer Stella McCartney. The form-fitting dress featured a square neckline and billowing train, which made for a dramatic entrance at the wedding.

Stylish: The barrister paired the dress with a matching yellow hat by Stephen Jones, a gold clutch bag, and gold pumps. The accessories perfectly complemented the dress and made for a stylish and cohesive look.

Trendsetting: Amal’s choice of dress color and designer hat sparked a trend among wedding guests, with many opting for brighter hues and statement headpieces. Her bold fashion choices proved to be trendsetting and set the tone for the rest of the wedding guests.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey attended Prince Harry’s wedding in a stunning blush pink Stella McCartney dress. The elegant dress featured a cowl neckline and figure-hugging silhouette. She paired the dress with a coordinating wide-brimmed hat and metallic heels.

While her outfit was certainly stylish, it was her thoughtful gift that caught the attention of many. She gave the newlyweds a collection of books by author James Baldwin, along with a handwritten note expressing her admiration for the couple and the importance of their union.

Oprah’s outfit and gift demonstrated her impeccable taste and kind-hearted nature, making her a standout guest at the royal wedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is known for their exceptional morning dress at Prince Harry’s wedding?

Several guests at Prince Harry’s wedding were praised for their exceptional morning dress, including David Beckham, Amal Clooney, and Oprah Winfrey.

Did anyone wear the tailcoat properly at Prince Harry’s wedding?

Yes, the tailcoat was worn properly by many guests at Prince Harry’s wedding, including David Beckham and Prince William.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when wearing morning dress?

Some common mistakes to avoid when wearing morning dress include wearing the wrong shoes, not properly tying the cravat, wearing a belt instead of braces, and not wearing a waistcoat.

Did anyone wear a top hat at Prince Harry’s wedding?

Yes, several guests at Prince Harry’s wedding wore top hats as part of their morning dress, including David Beckham and Idris Elba.

Who is known for their fashion sense and morning dress at events?

David Beckham is known for his impeccable fashion sense and morning dress at events, including Prince Harry’s wedding.

Is it important to follow the morning dress code at formal events?

Yes, it is important to follow the morning dress code at formal events, as it shows respect for the occasion and the hosts.

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