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Cummerbund

CummerbundThe cummerbund is a broad belt-like piece of clothing accessory for formal dress codes. It is typically pleated, and made from fine and shiny fabrics, like silk.

The word cummerbund comes from the Persian word "kamar", meaning waist, and was adopted into English in 1618. The cummerbund has a military origin and dates back to the early 17th century in colonial India. British officers used to wear a waistcoat underneath their jackets but the heat made this piece of uniform much less comfortable. So instead the cummerbund was created, which resembles part waistcoat and part sash - a piece of wide cloth wrapped around the waist.

For black tie events, the traditional cummerbund color is black, although more contemporary dress sometimes chooses other colors that match the bow tie. Traditionally the black cummerbund is worn with a black tux, white tuxedo shirt, and classic black bow tie. The pleats on the cummerbund are worn facing upwards, and sometimes served the purpose of holding ticket stubs. Because of this the cummerbund also got the nickname "crumb-catcher".



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