A black tie event is one where the men wear a tuxedo with a black bow tie, and women wear evening gowns that are usually floor length. Although men do not have much variety in choosing their outfit for a black tie event, women can and do dress in the latest fashion and style. As long as the gown is formal, women do not suffer from any restrictions when it comes to attending such events.
Black Tie Attire for Men
Traditionally, black tie attire for men consists of a tuxedo, also called a dinner jacket, which is jet black in color. You can also opt for a tuxedo in midnight blue if you don't prefer black. It can be both single-breasted or double-breasted with a peaked lapel or notched color. Men look trimmer and stylish in a single-breasted jacket, so opt for that if you are on the heavier side. The lapel facings are usually satin, and of the same color as the tuxedo. The sleeve buttons too are of the same material.
The color and material of the trousers should match with that of the jacket with a single braid along the seams to match lapel facings. Waistcoats are worn with single-breasted jackets made from silk or the same material as the jacket. A good quality white shirt with a pleated front is also an essential item for a black tie event. Another very essential item is the bow tie. It should be black in color, and should be made of the same material as the lapels of the jacket. Patent leather pump shoes and gold or platinum cufflinks complete the look.
Black Tie Attire for Women
Black tie attire for ladies is not as restrictive as that of men, and women can follow the latest trends and fashion while attending such an event. It is best to go for a floor length evening gown in a solid color like gold, champagne, violet, or silver in satin, velvet, or chiffon. You can also go for an elegant cocktail dress that falls below the knee if you are not comfortable with floor length gowns, although very short dresses are strictly not acceptable. The dress can also be decorated with crystal beads and accessorized with a clutch in satin, brocade, or velvet. Wear your best jewelry with big cocktail rings and a sparkly brooch.
Black Tie Wedding Attire
Choosing black tie attire for a wedding can be very confusing and intimidating, but with a bit of planning you can shine at the wedding. For men, the attire is a tuxedo with a white shirt and matching pants. Women can wear a formal evening gown with fancy wraps and a beaded purse. This is the time that women can indulge in some formal jewelry like a Victorian necklace and chandelier earrings. Make sure that the evening gown is not too fitted at the bottom or otherwise you will have problems if there is some dancing involved.
If the invitation says black tie optional, you can dress a little less formally. Creative black tie attire consists of making some changes, like adding a detailing of buttons instead of a bow tie and wearing a different colored shirt. You can even hire a tuxedo if you do not have any appropriate apparel for attending a black tie event.