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What is a cummerbund?

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Quick Answer

A cummerbund is a pleated sash that is worn around the waist with a dinner jacket or a tuxedo. It is considered formal wear and is often worn at black-tie events, ceremonial occasions, proms and weddings. When worn by men, the cummerbund usually matches the man's bow tie.

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Full Answer

The cummerbund was first worn by British officers in India during colonial times. It provided the officers with an alternative to the waistcoat (also known as a vest). The garment became popular with civilians and was worn during the summer months with a dinner jacket.

The word cummerbund has Persian origins, and the word kamarband in Persian today refers to any piece of clothing that is like a belt.

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