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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Stuck in the Middle

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve seen two professional orchestral conductors wearing a white cummerbund with the white tie and tails of a man’s formal evening suit. Is the white pique waistcoat no longer the proper garment to wear with this suit? Fortunately, conductors have their back turned to us most of the time.

GENTLE READER: Fortunately. You are correct, but Miss Manners has seen worse on podiums, where a male desire to mess with formality has spread from the red carpet. A charitable explanation would be that the waistcoat somehow restricts those wildly waving arms.

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