Black-tie is considered the mainstay of classic menswear where the rules are so perfect there is no need to break them. Even the most fearless of men break into a cold sweat when they see the words “black-tie dress code” on an invitation. There is a reason the code has remained virtually unchanged over the last century, and that’s because it cannot be improved. Blank Label would help you look for the best suit that would perfectly fit you.
Men look at their best when the black-tie look is perfectly executed. Even so, whenever you’re following this dress code, it shows those around you that you know what you’re doing.
In the same way that you wouldn’t show up to a meeting wearing pajamas, you don’t show up to a black-tie event dressed inappropriately. There’s no room for colors as they make you look uniform. Every rule you break makes you look worse, and every rule you follow makes you look better. Some men simply dread black-tie events, but others enjoy it because it gives them an excuse to go all out. You have an opportunity to get glammed up, but there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to black-tie events.
We’re curious to discover what they are. Read on as we walk through the official dos and don’ts on appropriate black-tie attire for men.
Dos of the Black-Tie Attire
If your invite says that it’s optional to wear one, you should still wear a tuxedo if you don’t want to be the odd man out. Most people wear tuxedos to the “black-tie optional” events.
The tuxedo is a formal jacket and pants made from the same cloth trimmed with contrasting grosgrain or black sating on the lapels, pants, and jacket pocket piping. Waistband, buttons, and one outseam stripe on the formal pants. The tuxedo can also include a waistcoat made from a contrasting or cloth.
The color of a tuxedo must be traditionally black. But other popular options are grey tones and shades of blue. For those who want to make a larger statement, other options may be very dark hunter green or burgundy.
Besides color, the texture of your tuxedo is also a way to differentiate yourself from others and provide a genuine look to your black attire.
- The Dinner Jacket
A proper tuxedo jacket is either one with a shawl collar or peak lapels. It’s important to grosgrain lapels or alternate facing satin, meaning that the material used for the label’s facing is different from the material used for the actual jacket. What’s more, it’s preferable for the jacket to have no pocket flaps and a single button. It must be made with no dents while the trousers should have a single vertical satin strip with no cuffs This outfit has the cleanest most stylish look.
- The Self-Tie Bow
It’s considered a smart move to have a self-tying bow tie made from the same material as your tuxedo lapels. An adjustable bowtie can also work wonders if you’re wearing a winged collar as this can expose the slider at the back of the neck.
Nonetheless, if you wear a specially sized bow tie, make sure you’re always wearing it with a fold down collar dress shirt. Formal new designer bow ties also are black-tie code friendly, look classy and are easily available at any online store.
- The Cummerbund or Waist Coat
The waistcoat is one of those things that separate a black-tie from daytime business wear. It elevates the ensemble and further lengthens the silhouette. These elements of detail taken together are what make black-tie so special. If you’re wearing a waistcoat, ensure the pleats are facing upwards. Traditionally, you should use those pleats to stock your tickets for the evening’s entertainment.
- The Shoes
Your everyday office shoes just won’t do here, unfortunately. You must take it up a level. Stylish black leather is the classic look. If you want to be well-dressed but can’t find mens shoes for small feet, worry not. There are online stores readily available to help you complete your black-tie outfit with shoes of 3, 4 and 5 sizes that fit and feel amazing.
You can choose from a variety of plain cap-toe oxfords, opera pumps and whole cuts. The stylish black suede from Stravers Shoes could do the job nicely.
Just as equally important as the shoes are the socks you wear with them. With a black-tie dress code wearing evening socks is a must. Shop for mid-calf socks in your classic naturals like navy and black.
- The White Tuxedo Shirt
With your tuxedo, it’s crucial to wear a plain white shirt with either a winged collar or fold over collar. If you have studs, then you should spice the ensemble with a little bit of embellishment. If you don’t, then you should consider adding a white shirt with a second covered placket to conceal and cover the button.
Note that if you don’t have studs to show, you should have buttons that do not.
Don’ts to the Black-Tie Attire
Just as important as it is to know what to wear, it’s equally as important to know what items you should avoid wearing in a black-tie event.
- Never wear your tux with a belt, only braces.
- No flap pockets
- Avoid pre-tied bows for the black-tie event
- Avoid wearing the waist coat with the least facing down. The pleats were designed to face up.
- Don’t wear a black suit to a black-tie wedding unless it states black-tie optional.
- Wear formal shoes but without too much detail, such as wingtips.
- Just a bow tie will do for a tux. Avoid wearing neckties