How to Wear Black Tie to a Formal Event

It is inappropriate to attend a black-tie event when not dressed up as per the dress code. You should know the expectations of such an event to enable you to dress appropriately. For formal attire for men, a tuxedo, white shirt, and bow tie are a must. Official well-polished black shoes will help to complete the look. With a few tips, you will be able to dress appropriately for the event to avoid feeling embarrassed and also to respect the event planners and the purpose of the event.

Here are some tips on how to wear black tie to a formal event;

·         Understand the black-tie event

It is good to read through the invitation, know the time and type of the event, and venue. Most evening and winter events are more formal than others which should be considered when planning for your attire. You should distinguish between different types of black-tie events. For black-tie preferred events, it is not restricted to black-tie wear only, you may wear a smart dark suit or a cocktail dress. Black tie optional events as the name suggest means you may wear anything formal, not strictly black tie. But in most cases, the majority of the attendees will wear black tie.

When the invitation indicates that the dress code is black tie creative, it implies that the event is formal but you can be flexible with your clothing choice. Men may wear a black suit with a red tie, or opt for a black shirt instead of the white tuxedo shirt. For ladies, they may wear flashy gowns and jewellery, gloves, and tiaras as part of their accessories.

·         Black-tie dressing for a woman

You should opt for a floor-length dress of dark solid colours such as black, maroon, or rich purple to a black-tie event. A satin or beaded clutch or a nice purse should be part of the accessories to match the evening shoes. Avoid large clunky shoes when wearing a formal dress to black-tie events. You should preferably wear strappy evening shoes with comfortable heels.

Women should invest in sparkling jewellery, and as much as possible, you should keep it real, whether its diamonds, gold, or pearl jewellery. You should keep jewelry to a minimum with only a bracelet, a necklace, and earrings. Remember to conceal your undergarments, and dress for the weather. Do not forget to style your hair, and also a little bit of makeup. A manicure and pedicure before the event are also advisable for that glamorous look.


·         Appropriate menswear for a black-tie event

The basic wear for a man to a black-tie event is a tuxedo, accent pieces, and a pair of well-polished black shoes. If you do not have such attire, you may rent from various shops where you can also get ideas about the latest trends and fashion in black-tie event dressing. But remember to stick to the basic rules of dressing in a black-tie event. Do not forget a black bow tie, but you may vary the colour of the bowtie if it’s a black-tie preferred or optional event. Remember to dress for the weather, especially if it’s during winter, where you might need a white scarf and an overcoat.

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