Why do snooker players wear waistcoats?

<span>Photograph: Visual China Group/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Visual China Group/Getty Images

While watching Ronnie O’Sullivan defeat Ding Junhui last week to become the oldest winner of the UK Championship, it struck me that snooker’s dress code – usually a black waistcoat over a white shirt, paired with a black bow tie – is oddly formal. Even darts players wear polo shirts. When did this outfit become standard attire, and why does it persist? Simon Byatt, York

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