What is a Cumberbun

A cumberbun also known as a cummerbund or cumerbund is a wide waste sash usually worn with a tuxedo or a single breasted dinner jacket. The cumberbun is seen as an alternative to wearing an accompanying vest with men’s dress garments. The word itself was originally adapted through the Persian word kamar which means waist. They were first worn and used by the British military in what was colonial India, soon after this fashion trend was spread all over the world. The cummerbund has even become so popular that the fashion has become apparent in many woman’s apparel that now sport larger waist sashes.

Cumberbuns were not only worn for aesthetic purposes, originally they also served a purpose as being a kind of pocket to hold miscellaneous items inside them. Because of this, traditionally they were worn with the pleated side facing outward. This allowed for the small pleats to be used as small compartments for items. Now though it’s simply a matter of taste to how someone wears theirs. It is just as often worn with the pleated side facing in as it is the pleated side facing out. It’s important when wearing a cummerbund if one chooses to wear a necktie or bowtie that it matches the same color as the cumberbun. One smart choice is to purchases cumberbun tux sets which will include pre-matched cummerbund and tie.

Cummerbunds come in many different color’s and materials, but the most common are the silk in the shades of black and gray and the Brocade verity in pleated or non pleated plain solid style. Traditionally there was only ones available in black, dark blue to match the pants, but now it’s not uncommon to see many exotic colored garments. In the early 19th and 20th century a cotton version was also popular with sports athletes and gymnasts.


A cumberbun is easily fitted with a buckle or elastic band. Even so, it’s important before purchasing one, that you try it on to make sure it fit’s properly. A belt or vest should not be worn with a cumberbun. Instead of using a belt to hold up your pants when wearing a cumberbun one should wear suspenders. A cumberbun is a great accessory that emphasis a man’s waist line. They can also serve to make a man look taller which is great news for men that wish they were just a little on the taller side.

They also very popularly worn by different militaries throughout the world. The French military in Africa has worn two different cummerbunds. The cumberbuns were worn to represent the different soldier’s nationalities. A blue one was worn by soldier’s that were born in France and a red one was worn by soldier’s that were natively born. They are also popular with the Indian and Pakistani military that wear’s them when they dress up their uniform for parades and celebrative events.

Needless to say a cumberbun is a great accent to any men’s formal attire. They come in a great many color shades that can be matched to whatever tie worn for the occasion. The long line of history and usage in other various area’s like the military have helped shape the cumberbun into what it now is today, making it a great traditional garment of choice.

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