What is the reasoning behind snooker players donning waistcoats, according to reader responses?

The longstanding series where readers answer questions from other readers, covering topics that range from trivial imaginations to profound scientific and philosophical ideas, caught my attention while watching Ronnie O’Sullivan’s victory over Ding Junhui last week, making him the oldest champion of the UK Championship. It made me realize that snooker’s dress code, which typically consists of a black waistcoat over a white shirt and a black bowtie, is remarkably formal. Even dart players wear polo shirts. When did this attire become the standard, and why does it persist? – Simon Byatt, York

Billiards and snooker originated in grand residences, exclusive clubs, and officers’ quarters. The clothing worn by today’s players reflects what the original players wore – a three-piece suit and a tie during the day, and a three-piece formal suit with a bowtie in the evening, removing the jacket only to play. On the other hand, darts originated in pubs and clubs for working-class individuals, where more casual clothing was the norm. – Olddogandgrump

The reason they wear waistcoats with a small pocket is simply to keep the chalk for their cues easily accessible and dry. – Janeira1

The purpose of the dress code is to minimize the risk of loose clothing touching the balls on the table, as it would result in a foul and the loss of a turn. – zebideedoodah

I suppose that waistcoats provide some warmth while allowing the arms to move freely. Additionally, they have pockets for chalk and other necessary items. It reminds me of Mr. Toad’s waistcoat, which had multiple pockets that set him apart from inferior designs with one or no pockets. I highly recommend a waistcoat for the seasons when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, namely autumn and spring. However, one must exercise caution when choosing a waistcoat. Waistcoats with lapels and tartan patterns should be avoided in all cases. For country-style occasions, a plain moleskin waistcoat is suitable, or one that matches the suit when attending formal events. If the suit is striped or checked, it is best to forgo the waistcoat, as it may give the impression of a bookie on a racecourse. – BaronOchs

In the past, snooker players often wore waistcoats with four pockets: one for chalk, one for cigarettes, one for a miniature bottle of whisky, and one for a small concealed pistol that fit perfectly in the palm of their hand. In addition to their scoring responsibilities, referees would also assist with lighting cigarettes, replenishing drinks, and tending to minor injuries caused by the aforementioned pistol. – MikeC

They wear them to protect their vested interests. – EddieChorepost

To provide the audience with something interesting to look at. – Dorkalicious

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