DRESS FOR A BLACK TIE EVENT, STYLE GUIDE
Received an invite to a swanky party? If so, then you’re going to need to know what to wear. Although black tie events can be daunting, they’re not as scary as they first appear. So, here’s our black tie guide, with all you need to know about what to wear to a black tie event.You may think that black tie dress is the most formal look you can wear. However, this is actually white tie dress code. Fortunately for you, not many people still wear white tie dress, which means that black tie has become the standard dress code for formal social events. Wearing black tie can be a fun, but sometimes expensive, style to get right. So, carry on reading for all our best tips.
Black Tie Event
Very simply, a black tie event is a formal evening event or party that takes place after 7pm and involves men and women wearing a specific ‘black tie’ dress code. Black tie events are social functions that are generally more formal than a run of the mill party or business event. You wouldn’t wear the suit you wear to work to a black tie event for instance.
An example of a black tie event would be along the lines of a ball or a corporate business party. Unless you’re James Bond you probably won’t go to too many black tie events. However, it’s still important to know what and how to wear black tie dress code, for those instances when you need to whack out the bow tie and spruce up.
Black Tie Event Dress Code
Many of you may be think “what is a tuxedo?” or “what is black tie?”, well, the black tie event dress code, known as cravat noir in France, is a semi formal evening dress code. It originates from the western, British, men’s evening wear of the 19th Century. You would usually only wear a black tie dress code at events that take place after 7pm. A black tie dress code is less formal then a white tie dress code that involves a man wearing a tailcoat jacket with a starched shirt, waistcoat and white bow tie. Black tie dress code however, is more formal than business wear. It typically involves a man wearing a white dress shirt, a black bowtie, an evening waistcoat, a dinner jacket in which the lapels are a different shade to the rest of the jacket, and a pair of black oxford shoes. You may know a dinner jacket from its American name, tuxedo.
Today, the majority of us think black tie dress code as being very formal. However, when men first began to wear dinner jackets, in the Victorian era, it was originally a much less formal item of clothing in comparison to what upper class men wore everyday. Therefore, it was originally a less formal alternative to a tailcoat. However, declaring it inappropriate to wear in mixed company, not many men wore black tie dress. It wasn’t until after the First World War that the dinner jacket became the principle form of evening wear for men.