So you have your first black-tie event coming up and now you're faced with the task of deciding what to wear. Unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb (hint: you don't), you need to familiarize yourself with the dress code for black-tie events. Far too many people assume these events are nothing more than ordinary dinners or parties, so they show up in their normal evening wear. That's why today we're going to walk you through the nuances of black-tie event events and how to dress for them.
What is a Black-Tie Event?
Let's first go over the basics of a black-tie event, because this is a term that confuses many people. While some event organizers may have their own definition for the term, a black tie event usually describes and event in which the dress code involves semi-formal wear. The easiest way to describe black-tie dress code is that it's less formal than white-tie but more formal than business casual. According to Wikipedia, the British and American costume conventions coined the term during the 19th century.
Traditionally, black-tie events are held only during the evening afters past 6 PM. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but most organizers hold their black-tie events past 6 PM.
What Should I Wear to a Black-Tie Event
Now for the million-dollar question: what should I wear to a black-tie event? When you first receive an invitation to a black-tie event, check to see if it specifies the dress code. Most organizers will include an overview of what guests should wear. Even if this dress code doesn't follow the same structure as a traditional black-tie event, it's still a good idea to follow it. If the invitation doesn't include information about what to wear, or what not to wear, there's a simple solution that should work.
Tuxedos are generally the de-facto choice of fashion (for men, at least) when attending a black-tie event. So if you're having trouble coming up with the right clothes for a black-tie event, try renting a tux. A standard black-and-white tuxedo is perfect for a black-tie event. Just remember to choose a tux that's fitted according to your body shape and size. There's nothing worse that attempting to wear a tux that's either too big or too small, so don't make this mistake.