David Cameron’s infamous Bullingdon Club photograph.
What is Britain’s Prime Minister wearing to the royal wedding and why is it shocking?
A military uniform, a morning coat or lounge suit is what the royal wedding invitation states as the “dress code” for the April 29 royal wedding.
Reports say Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to forgo the traditional morning coat, typical of high society, and opt for the “racy” lounge suit instead.
“Asked what Cameron would be wearing to the wedding, which will be attended by foreign royal dignitaries in traditional dress as well as ordinary members of the public, a spokesman said to Reuters: ‘The prime minister will be wearing a suit.’”
After 1987 photos of his Bullingdon Club days at Oxford University were leaked, ever since he has been trying to escape the elitist stereotype.
“Cameron has been keen to cast off the impression that he is an upper-class “toff” since pictures emerged of him as a member of Oxford’s elite Bullingdon Club, a drinking club whose wealthy members sport tails to their annual dinner,” Reuters reports.
The clubs trademark?
A £1,200 tailcoat traditional to a morning suit. However, there is more to it—the full regalia is said to cost around £3000.
“The ‘uniform’ of the Bullingdon Club for their annual Club dinner is a traditional tailcoat in Oxford blue with ivory coloured silk lapel revers, brass monogrammed buttons, a mustard waistcoat, and a sky blue bow tie. In addition there is a sky blue striped with ivory Club tie,” reports say.
“Like many people, I did things when I was young that I should not have done, and that I regret,” Mr. Cameron said to the Independent in 2007, upon the release of the now famous club photos— and information that he had smoked marijuana at Eton.
About the Bullingdon Club:
The 200 year-old Oxford University club is said to be composed of members of wealthy aristocracy who get together to drink and make trouble.
“a club for toffs notorious for smashing up restaurants and then chucking large wads of cash on the floor to pay for clearing up,” says one report.
The Independent reported back in 2007:
“The club’s notorious dinners typically involve members booking a private dining room (under an assumed name) and drinking themselves silly before destroying it elaborately. They wear royal blue tailcoats with ivory lapels, and – having made merry – pride themselves in politely paying the restaurant’s owners compensation in high-denomination banknotes.”
The Bullingdon Club —The one striking a pose second from the left is David Cameron, the British PM.
“The Bullingdon Club is an official Club of the University of Oxford but on occasion the rowdiness of members’ activities have caused the University proctors to suspend the Club,”Reports say.
“In 1938 John Betjeman wrote that ‘quite often the Club is suspended for some years after each meeting’ although that doesn’t stop them meeting in secret of course.”
What is a lounge suit and what makes it an odd choice for the PM?
The style consists of long trousers, a waistcoat, a vest and a short coat (think the modern western business suit) and is thought to be more casual than appropriate for an event of this caliber.
The two-piece, contemporary-style lounge suit is “definitely for the racier boys,” says Andrew Goldberg, a General Manager of tailoring at Gieves and Hawkes on Saville Row in London to CNN.
CNN notes that fashion watchers would have been surprised by its inclusion on the list of dress options and even more so that the PM has opted to wear the style.
“Senior government figures would have traditionally worn tails — the formal black coats that have the front section cut away to leave longer sections at the back — on such occasions,” reports Reuters.
Local media suggested to Reuters that the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, and opposition leader, Ed Miliband, would also opt for lounge suits.
What about lounge suit colour?
“Those wearing lounge suits should still stick to gray, black, blue, perhaps dark brown if you’re feeling especially fruity,” says Peta Hunt, fashion director of upscale wedding magazine You&Your Wedding to CNN.
The rest of the men: what fasion watchers predict we will see:
Photo and key from the Black Tie Guide online—1. coat 2. trousers 3. waistcoat 4. shirt 5. neckwear 6. footwear 7. accessories 8. outerwear
Andrew Goldberg, General Manager of tailoring at Gieves and Hawkes on Saville Row in London, a street famed for its exceptional couturiers, told CNN he expects “most male guests to be decked out in morning suits.”
This is a traditional combination of long tails, a tie and a waistcoat.
“This garment originally would’ve been worn by gentleman riding their horses in the morning,” Goldberg said. “And now it’s for formal wedding occasions.”
He told CNN he anticipates most attendees will go for classic colors: “You will see blues, a dove gray or a buff color.”