Hawes & Curtis has been at the center of innovation in British style ever since we opened our first store on Jermyn Street in 1913. Perhaps our most prominent accomplishment was the introduction of the backless evening waistcoat. Waistcoats for men remain our calling card to this day.
Men's waistcoats are quintessentially British garments and can be dated back to the reign of King Charles II. When King Charles restored the monarchy he introduced standards for appropriate dress. The first mention was by an official royal proclamation in 1666. Modelled after vests worn by diplomats from Persia, they became an essential item for British gentlemen over the next two centuries.
In 1923, Hawes & Curtis introduced the backless evening men's waistcoat. It was made for the Duke of Windsor as part of the "Dress Soft" era. It was held in place via bands fastened by a buckle or button across the back. It ensured that the coat remained in proper position while also being extremely comfortable to wear. In short time it became part of standard formal dress for Britain's aristocracy.
Now in the 21st century Hawes & Curtis continues to make quality waistcoats for both evening formal wear and work wear. You can wear a typical black waistcoat with a tuxedo as part of your formal evening outfit. Hawes & Curtis, however, also offers a variety paisley and geo patterned versions in cream, silver and light pink colours. These dapper waistcoats are perfect for a wedding day or other special event where you want to look not just formal but vibrant. They feature six buttons in the front, two pockets and a waist adjuster in the rear for a perfect fit. We also offer coordinating accessories, including handkerchiefs and cravats.
We also offer waistcoats that go with business menswear. Our grey Prince of Wales waistcoat is perfect as part of a three piece suit. Our Prince of Wales fabric is made from super 140s merino wool. This waistcoat includes four mother of pearl button fastenings, two pockets and a waist adjuster in the rear.
Browse our waistcoats and find one for your occasion and your look. We are sure that when you compare them to others you will see why Hawes & Curtis makes the impeccable waistcoat men must have.