Black tie

What is a Black Tie Dress Code

Black tie

Black tie events are a semi-formal event such as a wedding or dinner part that requires those in attendance to dress up a bit on the fancy side. While there is a bit of leeway in what you can and cannot wear to a black tie event there is still somewhat of a dress code.

Of course your dress code will depend on if you are a woman or a man, here’s how it breaks down.

WOMEN: Women can typically get away with wearing one of two types of dresses. The type will depend on the situation of the event and whether the event is more on the casual side or formal side.

•    Cocktail dress: If you are attending a dinner party it may be acceptable for you to wear a cocktail dress. These types of dresses are usually reserved for the most laid back formal events and are generally dictated a great deal by current fashion.
•    Evening gowns: If you are attending a high class black tie event then an evening gown is on the menu. Evening gowns can be worn in a wide variety of colors and even fashions but should always compliment your shape and hopefully the man you are attending with.

The unofficial rule in determining which type of dress to go with is how well you know the people at the event. If everyone attending is a close knit group of friends then it will probably be more laid back and you can opt for the cocktail dress. But if you are attending a high society fund raising event for example, it will probably be more on the ‘stuffy’ side and require the nicer of the two options.

MEN: The black tie dress code for a man is also determined by several factors. A tuxedo will usually fit the bill for the guys and the color of the tux is usually black or dark midnight blue but there are a few exceptions to the tuxedo rule.

•    Kilts: At formal Scottish events the dress code for the men is a black tie and jacket on the top and a kilt on the bottom. This tradition has dated back throughout time and is still strong today. Anybody that has attended a Scottish wedding will have been witness to many a grown man wearing a kilt.
•    Military: The military has what is known as ‘mess dress’ that is worn at semi-formal events. These types of formal looking uniforms will sport a jacket and of course a black tie.

In all cases for the guys two things hold true. In any type of black tie dress code you will have a jacket of some sort and a black bow tie. As these are the two main components of the black tie dress code for the guys, they will always be constant no matter what.

Dressing for a black tie event usually means dressing up. Whether you are a man or a woman the fact remains there is a certain dress code when attending a black tie affair and dressing appropriately will keep you from being underdressed and sticking out like a sore thumb.

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