The Stresemann – A German Variety Of The Stroller
Especially when it comes to one’s own wedding, the groom might think about what to wear for such a special event. Back in the day, what one would wear to a wedding would be determined by what time of day the ceremony took. In case it was hosted in the morning or around noon, a morning coat was a gentleman’s choice whereas a tailcoat was reserved for late afternoon and evening weddings. In both cases the long tails were supposed to be the equivalent of the bride’s train.
Today, only very few men will either wear a morning coat or a tailcoat at their wedding. In the US, grooms often choose to wear a tuxedo for a daytime ceremony although this garment was traditionally exclusively reserved for evening events. In my opinion, it might be worth it to look at another, almost forgotten garment: – the Stresemann. This suit combination is similar to a stroller and is basically a slightly less formal substitute for a morning coat. For more detailed information about formal men’s daywear, you should not miss the Morning Dress Guide, which is the ultimate resource on the matter.
History of the Stresemann Stroller Suit
Very rarely is it possible to pin down the birthday of a specific garment since it usually evolved over time. However, in the case of the Stresemann this is different. On December 1st, 1925 the Treaties of Locarno were formally signed in London. Since this was a political event of high importance, the dress code dictated proper morning-dress which included a morning coat. Despite that, the German foreign secretary at the time, Gustav Stresemann, decided to wear a black single-breasted lounge coat instead of a morning-coat.
Following this event, many Germans imitated Stresemann and wore their black lounge coat instead of their morning attire. Soon thereafter everybody identified this dress as the Stresemann. Originally, the Stresemann consisted of a black, ventless, single breasted lounge coat with jetted pockets, a waistcoat made from the same material as the coat and a pair of grey-black striped trousers without cuffs. The shirt had a stiff (starched) wing collar and it was worn with a regular tie. Soon after its introduction, the stiff collar was often substituted for a soft turndown collar. Moreover, there were some men who decided to wear their Stresemann with piping on the edges of the coat which looked even more formal than without piping. The designated hats for the Stresemann where the bowler and the Eden. After a few years, the Stresemann had become so popular in Germany, that it was often worn on occasions that formerly required full morning-dress. Hence, it is not very surprising that certain things that were usually worn with traditional morning-dress, like the silver-grey tie or the light grey waistcoat, were now worn with the Stresemann as well.
wore the Stresemann quite frequently on formal occasions. Consequently, the newspapers soon called this outfit “Bonner Anzug” which translates to “suit of Bonn” whereas Bonn was the capital of Germany then.
The Stresemann Suit Today
In Germany today, the expression “Bonner Anzug” is obsolete and Stresemann is the only way refered to that kind of a stroller. Unfortunately, the Stresemann is not seen very often anymore. However, if you can spot one of these outfits, it is still very similar to the original Stresemann.
First, it consists of a black or charcoal single breasted lounge coat with peaked or notched lapels. Peaked lapels are more formal just as jetted pockets are more formal than welted or flapped pockets on such a garment.
Second, the trousers are cuff-less and either striped in grey-black or patterned in houndstooth, or glencheck without overcheck. A pair of plain light grey trousers will probably work just as well. The waistcoat is either made out of the same cloth as the lounge coat or for example in linen of colors like buff or dove grey . Combined with a shirt, silver tie, black oxford shoes and cufflinks it can look very handsome. Alternatively, one could also wear a black bow-tie or any other dark bow tie, e.g. a Lipton bow-tie (navy blue with white polka dots). In any case, there are many possibilities to express one’s individuality with a Stresemann.
The Stresemann and the Stroller are very similar expect that the coat of the former may only be single breasted, whereas the coat of the latter may be single or double breasted
The Stresemann & Stroller – Ideal Wedding Attire
Regarding weddings, just like traditional morning-dress, the Stresemann is only worn in the morning or the afternoon but not in the evening. Thus, the groom should buy a matching black or charcoal pair of pants for the evening, so he can change quickly in the afternoon and still be adequately dressed for the dinner reception. With two pairs of pants and a lounge coat, one will have plenty of opportunities for future wear. The dark suit can be worn frequently even after the wedding, e.g. at the office or on formal occasions, and the Stresemann might also be worn as a wedding guest. As you can see, a Stresemann is not
just an elegant garment – but also a great investment for your wardrobe.
Here, you can find out more the Stresemann Stroller outfit and its appropriateness as a wedding suit.
The attached gallery shows Stresemann outfits by Gustav Stresemann himself from the 20s, and others from the 30s, the 50s as well as from 2010.
The two pictures from Gustav Stresemann as well as the two linked pictures from Adenauer and Heuss are property of the Deutsches Bundesarchiv.