A Traditional Cummerbund Elongates the Body
Choose a cummerbund for a classic look or if you have a shorter stature. A cummerbund is a wide band of fabric with pleats that wraps around the waist. The item was originally designed to cover the waistband and provide a convenient place for holding theater tickets. Cummerbunds provide a classic look for any formal occasion. Additionally, they have the added benefit of elongating the body for a taller appearance.
A Modern Vest Hides the Waistline and Shirt
Select a vest for a more modern look, if you have a thick waistline or if you do not have a proper tuxedo shirt. Unlike the cummerbund, the tuxedo vest covers nearly the entire front of the shirt. For this reason, a vest works well to hide an inappropriate shirt without tuxedo studs. Vests also work well for men with thicker waistlines. Unlike a cummerbund, the vest will not accentuate the stomach. Overall, select a vest with your tuxedo if you are aiming for a less traditional, more contemporary look.
Ultimately, a vest and a cummerbund both serve the same function: they add a touch of elegance and formality to a tuxedo. Select a cummerbund for a more traditional look or to elongate the body. Wear a vest for a more modern look or to hide a thick waistline or inappropriate shirt.