The alternative to waistcoats, cummerbunds were originally considered a more casual style and limited to summer and outdoor wear. Today, a black cummerbund is considered a perfectly acceptable alternative to a waistcoat, and is probably the more common option at most stores and rental outlets.
The pleats on the cummerbund face upward -- think of them as tiny pockets, since that was their original function. Men used to tuck theater or train tickets into the folds, and occasionally still do. Some cummerbunds will have actual pockets hidden on the backside, but the pleats should of course still face upward.
When you walk into a menswear store, you see suits everywhere. But most of this is superfluous, as that what you want is only a small fraction of what is available. Use the Men’s Warehouse as an example: I walk in and ask for a light gray pin striped single breasted suit in size 44. Although I have only specified three factors, I have nonetheless reduced the Men's Wearhouse inventory of 2000 suits to maybe 2 or 3 garments that fit that description. Now imagine if I asked for something a little more fashion forward, say slanted pockets and peak lapels. It's unlikely the Men's Wearhouse, Brooks Brothers, or Jos. A Bank would have a men's custom made suits like this in their entire nationwide inventory. With custom clothing selection is never a problem; your choices are unlimited. What you ask for is made to your specifications; no compromises. The garment you have made is a one-of-kind masterpiece of fabric and thread.