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No, It Doesn’t Mean You Just Have to Wear a ‘Black Tie’

Posted on January 18 2017

No, It Doesn’t Mean You Just Have to Wear a ‘Black Tie’

As you climb the corporate ladder, at some point in time you are likely to get an invitation to a ‘black-tie’ event. But, unless you’ve been to one before, or know someone who has, you probably don’t really know how to properly dress for the occasion.

An invitation to a black-tie event means that all guests are expected to attend wearing formal wear, more specifically, black formal wear – though female fashions have some leeway as to colour.

If you get an invitation to a black-tie affair, it might be worth investing in a formal tuxedo for the occasion. Nothing beats arriving in a fitted black tuxedo that you wear more comfortably because it’s yours. And styles don’t change very often, so it’s not like you’ll have to get another one next year.

Including your tuxedo, here’s how you should dress for a black-tie occasion.

1. The Jacket

Black mohair and wool barathea dinner jackets last longest, though you won’t likely be wearing them very often. Most black-tie jackets feature a peaked lapel because it emphasizes the v-shape of the jacket and makes the wearer look more athletic.

2. Bow Tie

Needless to say, it should be black. You can choose a classic silk style or a fabric that matches your jacket. There are YouTube videos that will help you learn how to tie a bow tie.

3. Shirt

Not black, but crisp white. While you can use a wing collar, a turn-down collar is preferred. Some shirts can be pleated, buttoned together with black studs and sporting a double cuff. Options include concealed buttons instead of studs, cummerbunds, which seem to be going out of style, and non-pleated shirts.

4. Trousers

Choose single-braided black trousers with satin ribbon trim down the outside of each leg. That’s it.

5. Shoes

Well-polished black leather dress shoes are a start. But if you’re going to make a habit of black-tie events, and you have the budget, you can choose a pair of formal evening shoes.

Straight up, a single black-tie outfit can cost you thousands of dollars. But that one outfit can last a lifetime and do wonders for your career.