Elegance Handbook

Black Tie Event Dress Code

Black Tie Event Dress Code

So you want to know what is the appropriate black tie event dress code for that invite you received? This post will help you aswer these and any other questions you may have about so that you show up adhere to the correct black tie ecent dress code, especially if it is your first time!

You may be asking yourself any number of these questions:

  • Does that mean that all that is required is a black tie?
  • Does a black tie event mean all black?
  • Can you wear a normal suit to a black tie event?
  • What does black tie mean for a female?

This post is all about answering these black tie event dress code questions, but first, let us begin by understanding what is a black tie event.

What Exactly is a Black Tie Event?

Black tie events are very formal events, and the only event that is more formal than a black tie event is the white tie event. They are held for black tie weddings, diplomatic events, annual corporate dinners and retirement black tie events, new year’s eve black tie parties, opera and ballet performances, galas and fundraisers, and elite award ceremonies like the Oscars.

What Not to Wear to a Black Tie Event

Here’s what not to wear to a black tie event; do not wear a normal suit or a normal black tie if you are a man. For women, do not wear short party dresses, cinderella dresses, or normal cocktail dresses. In each of the sections below, you will discover what the proper black tie dress code entails.

Black Tie Event Dress Code Men

The appropriate wear for men, which can be bought or rented is as follows:

  • A white shirt dress with a tuned down collar, and a Marcella front, is essential. The white shirt dress with winged collars is reserved for white-tie events, which are more formal than black-tie events.
  • Cufflinks – usually, double cufflinks are required for the tux shirt dress, as it essentially should not have normal buttons like normal shirts. The shirt should always be long-sleeved.
  • The bow is the right way to go. Black is the classic colour, and white is reserved for white-tie events.
  • The tuxedo jacket, otherwise known as the tux jacket, or the dinner jacket should be made of black or dark-coloured wool, must be single-breasted, and have satin lapels, buttons and pockets
  • Matching trousers with satin or grosgrain stripe down the side of each leg.
  • Formal shoes are meant to complement the overall look of the tuxedo, and therefore, they should be understated, with a matte or slightly shiny finish. They can be plain-toe, cap-toe, and wingtip, and black leather is always a good choice.

For a dapper-looking tux, men should consider getting a bespoke suit, which will be custom-made based on their body variations made, and they will look better than a suit off the rack.

Black Tie Event Dress Code Women

The appropriate attire for women in black-tie events is as follows:

  • Black tie event dresses, that is, formal full-length and/or floor-length dresses. Some ladies opt for cocktail dresses, but as earlier explained under the section on what not to wear, one that falls below the knee may be appropriate for less formal events. The gown should be an evening wear dress that is ladylike, and not like a cinderella or bridal dress. If you are not sure what to colors to wear, consider wearing sophisticated colors.
  • Formal dressy shoes; these are close toed that coordinate with the dress.
  • Understated accessories and jewellery – earrings, bracelets, studs should accentuate your face shape, they should be understated and compliment the dress.
  • Necklaces, can be skipped if you have earrings and other jewelry on. If not, then a statement piece that compliments the dress and overrall look should be worn, based on your face shape.
  • Clutch bag – ditch the workplace bag with two handles that can carry everything you own, and instead opt for the clutch, it is ideal for smaller items like your lipstick and phone.
  • The hair updo, or style should be polished, natural looking and flattering.
  • Natural and understated makeup is also supposed to compliment your features, and outfit, therefore, a natural and understated look is preferred.
  • Silk scarf, and a coat if it is on a cold or breezy evening
This post was all about the approprate black tie event dress code. Now you can go dress up with confidence and have a fabulous time at the event!

Useful Black Tie Resources

It is important to remember that in addition to getting the black tie event dress code right, your fine dining skills and etiquette should also be as polished as you are. If your etiquette and manners need polishing up, use the code “GRADEDM” to get 20% off when you enrol in these courses

  • Fine dining etiquette course to learn how to conduct yourself around dishes, cutlery and cuisines you’ve not previously encountered
  • Social etiquette course if you are attending a social event, and you would like to know the essentials when it comes to dressing codes, proper social mannerisms, and greetings, and how to win the respect and admiration of others in attendance.
  • Business etiquette courses if you are attending a corporate black tie event, this business etiquette course will help you get the most out of the event.