The strictness of this dress code makes it one of the easiest dress codes to follow. A man in a tuxedo looks dashing and debonair and should evoke images such as Sean Connery as James Bond at the Baccarat table. The rules for how to wear black tie are simple and straightforward.
When considering how to wear black tie, remember it is not formal dress. It is semi-formal attire and the tailless tuxedo jacket gets its name from Tuxedo Park, an early 20th Century enclave of trend setting fashion forward New York swells.
Do not show up in a black suit. The host obviously wants the tremendous amount of effort they have put into making the evening exceptional reflected in the unique elegance and traditional uniformity that black tie creates at an event. Flouting dress codes at an event is not cool, in fact its really quite immature and it is easy to end up looking like one of the gimmicky disasters you see all too often at the Oscars.
A single-breasted jacket is the most common and widely accepted style and at its most formal should be unvented.
Eddie Redmayne favours a classic peak lapel tuxedo – a timeless and elegant choice. A simple white pocket scarf finishes off this classic look.
David Beckham often chooses the shawl lapel and manages to pull the look off without appearing too flashy.
With the black tie dress code, there are a few options of white dress shirt with both wing and turn down collar variations. Collars should ideally be turn down with the collar points hidden behind the bow tie, but modern black tie accepts the sharply pointed wing collar too. Some shirts have pleats, which look smart with a cummerbund, and some will have black studs or concealed buttons. Black studs, shirt pleats and a double cuff are the most traditional options on how to dress in black tie.
A self-tie bow tie is always preferable. The bow tie defines the entire style of black tie. The material of the tie should match the jacket’s lapel facings visually. Shiny bow ties with soft fronted lapels will be at odds to the black tie’s uniformity.
The classic formal footwear to be worn with black tie are patent leather pumps with a black ribbon bow on the front. They are luxurious and sophisticated, exclusive to the more formal style of dress. Modern black tie events allow for any black leather dress shoe in a simple and formal style with plain toe Oxfords being ideal.
Black tie is for evenings only. Everyone can wear Black Tie, but follow these rules to dress as stylishly as Eddie Redmayne or James Bond.
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