A morning coat is the jacket part of men's morning dress, a formal daytime dress code. The coat differs from other tuxedo tailcoats in the "cutaway" front feature. The front half of the coat stops at about waist length, and the back remains long with traditional tails that hang to approximately knee length.
The morning cut of tailcoat is single breasted with one or two buttons, although the two-button variation is rare. It once was acceptable for the lapels of a morning coat to be notched or pointed, but now that it is regarded as daytime formal wear, the lapels almost always are pointed or peaked. It has its origins in horseback riding; the cutaway front enabled the rider to ride and control his horse more easily.
The rest of men's morning dress usually consists of a vest or waistcoat, pinstriped or checked pants with one or two pleats and no cuffs, a dress shirt with a wing collar or a turndown collar with a tie or cravat, a pocket square or handkerchief and black dress shoes or boots with plain dark socks. The most traditional color for morning dress is gray, but a yellowish-tan color called "buff" is common as well. A black morning coat and dress is worn for funerals, academics and occasional government use in America. Traditionally, the tie accompanying a morning jacket and dress shirt was only black or gray, but it has become popular and acceptable to wear any color of tie. A small checked pattern called the Macclesfield design often is worn for weddings.
The dress shirt that goes under the morning coat most often is white. Wedgwood blue sometimes is seen as well. Striped or colored shirts are becoming more acceptable, but in these cases, a white collar is preferred.
Morning dress typically is used for weddings, government functions, royal functions and some equestrian events such as ascot. Some prep schools might require morning dress as their uniform. Morning dress is not to be worn after 7 p.m. At that point, the corresponding evening dress code would be considered white tie, not morning dress.
In the United States, the men's morning coat often is referred to as a "cutaway coat." Ronald Reagan wore morning dress as part of his presidential swearing-in ceremony. He was the last U.S. president to include it in the ceremony.
Morning dress code for women requires them to wear a day dress of knee length or longer. A cocktail dress for daytime would not be appropriate. Women's morning dress also can include a hat and gloves.