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According to the blacktieguide.com:

Whether wing collar or turndown, better-made formal shirts will always have a bib-shaped double layer of fabric forming the bosom of the shirt. This is the only part of the shirt's torso that is exposed by the jacket and waist covering so it is the only portion that requires starching or decoration with piqué or pleats. Limiting the starched area to the bib also helps to prevent the shirtfront from billowing out like a sail when the wearer sits down and the excess fabric has nowhere else to go – a particular problem for cardboard-stiff full-dress shirts. In order to avoid this conundrum, the properly tailored bib is designed to end just above the waist. For similar reasons, its width should not extend beyond the suspenders.

Like the shirt’s collar and cuffs, the bib’s extra thickness ensures that it will appear as white as possible rather than allowing the skin tone to show through (or, for that matter, the undershirt’s unsightly outline).
 

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Another problem with the modern notch lapel, low slung outfit is that the coat and trousers don't 'fit'. Older styles had high waists and these easily covered the bottom of the bib ... and braces kept them there. The join was then covered with vest or cummerbund. They are also incredibly comfortable to wear.
 

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DougNZ's point is good.

It is best if the bib extends a bit (at least) under the trousers. Otherwise the placement of the cummerbund or vest becomes really critical and fussy to keep hidden all that should remain so.

It can be really bad mixing pieces from different periods. Last night I wore an old (50s?) shirt with modern (90s) trousers. There was a significant gap between the trousers and the bib, and to add insult those trousers lack brace buttons. The cummerbund was not up to the challenge, so I left my coat buttoned most of the evening.
 

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A quick question. Where does the bib on the soft front (pleated), turn down collar dress shirt extend to? How far above the waistband of the trousers? Any pictures?
I like the bib to end a 2-4cm above the waist of my trousers for comfort. Bear in mind:
- I like pretty high waisted trousers
- my djs r db 6x4 so not much shirt is showing to begin with

A pique front that's just a double layer of fabric or similar I prefer all the way to the end of the shirt. But pleats r so thick uve got to end them as short as possible.
 
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