#11: The Score
Last week at my favorite bi-annual Upper East Side rummage sale (location undisclosed) amongst other booty (full disclosure: Yves Saint Laurent high-waisted and pleated black cord trousers) what did I come across on the aptly named “Mens Vintage” rack but The Score: A matching morning coat and waistcoat, dated 1928.
These are two of my favorite classic menswear pieces from bygone days. Originally, the morning coat was fashioned with a sloping, cutaway front and single button closure and tails in the back to allow ease of movement when going for morning horseback rides, hence the name. Originally considered casual ‘halfdress’, later on the morning coat was adapted for formal wear, where it’s virtually made its only appearance since the 19th century. The number pictured below came from the Harvard Cooperative Society of Cambridge; it was probably worn during formal meetings and not to formal events, as the flecked wool suggests, as does the extremely minimal wear.
Hello Gorgeous – A more formal version from a later era:
Also, every true gentlman knows that you are supposed to keep the bottom button of your waistcoat undone.* I hope you’re taking notes.
Very Edith Wharton’s New York, don’t you think? With all the trimmings:
But please don’t leave here thinking that the morning coat/waistcoat pairing is a stodgy fashion of yesteryear saved for period piece films. Paired with snug denim and the right boots (and the right hair, the right silk scarf), a night out in this get-up will have the groupies swooning over that who-could-he-be rockstar type. That said, this 38R has my dad’s name on it.
* – King Edward VII of England (b. 1841 d. 1910) and his ballooning waistline while Prince of Wales caused him the habit of unbuttoning the bottom button which others took as an indicator of style. But it’s also said that one button undone saved the embarrassment of the waistcoat riding up too much while on horseback.