What To Wear To A Black Tie Event|Ladies & Gents

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Black Tie Attire – What Black Tie Dress Code Means for Women & Men

I have seen some folks rock native attire to a black-tie themed event. This is inappropriate. Here are a few formal wear etiquette tips to keep in mind for your next black-tie gala or wedding

An invitation to a black tie event might leave you wondering just how formally you should dress. Men might rush to rent a tuxedo, and women might peruse their closet for something supremely formal. Decipher the specifics of black tie attire to help you design a look that leaves you looking appropriate and feeling your best.

How to approach Black Tie: “Always be mindful of your hosts’ desires and anticipate what their vision is for their dinner, dance, fundraiser, wedding, whatever. What does black tie mean to your host—what does it look like to them? If it’s Rihanna, well that’s one thing, and if it’s the Prince of Wales, it’s another.”

—William Norwich

Black Tie Options for Women

Two types of dresses are appropriately formal for women attending a black tie event. Floor-length gowns in dark colours, such as black, navy or brown, are suitable and elegant. Dressy cocktail dresses also fit the black tie dress code. A classic little black dress or a knee-length cocktail dress in silk or satin are event-worthy. Choose a cocktail dress with a touch of sparkle or embellishment to increase the level of formality.

Black Tie for Men

A tuxedo is a classic men’s choice for a black tie affair. Select a black tuxedo with a black bowtie; a black cummerbund or vest is optional. Wear a white button-down shirt that is pleated, which adds a touch of formality. Wear patent leather shoes to complete the look. At some black tie events, a white tuxedo jacket is also appropriate. Reserve the white option for summer affairs, events that take place in tropical climates or a cruise, according to Emily Post.

Black Tie Optional Ideas

Not every dress code is strictly black tie. For black tie optional events, men can choose to wear a dark suit, white dress shirt and conservative tie, such as a classic striped pattern. Leather dress shoes complete the look. Women can wear floor-length gowns or cocktail dresses, but dressy separates will do, too. Slip-on a pencil skirt with a silk blouse or a dressy pantsuit.


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