What is The White-Tie Dress Code?

What is The White-Tie Dress Code?

You've probably heard of a black tie dress code before, but are you familiar with white tie? Some people automatically assume that a white tie dress code requires nothing more than a traditional suit with a white-colored tie. Based on the name alone, this would make sense. But men dressing for a white tie event are in no way required to wear a white colored tie. To learn more about the white tie dress code and what it entitles, keep reading.

The Basics of White-Tie: What You Should Know

Also known as a full dress, evening dress and full evening dress, white tie is the single most formal dress code in the United States. It is commonly worn for ceremonial occasions like business meetings, balls, weddings, and fundraising/charity events. White tie has become the de-facto standard of dress code for formal events, and for good reason: it's a simple yet classy solution for achieving a stylish appearance. Beau Brummell is credited with inventing the white tie dress code. Back in the late 1700s, Brummell introduced several elements to simplify the dress code, adding key things like monochromatic colors and the use of a coat, waistcoat and trousers, all of which are commonly worn for white tie events today.

The Anatomy of a White Tie Outfit:

A typical white tie outfit consists of four key elements: a wing-collar button-up shirt, white bow tie, white waistcoat, and black tailcoat.  Keep in mind, however, that many guys prefer to wear non-white ties for these events. While white ties are the most common/popular choice, there's been a growing emphasis on alternative colors in recent years.

White Tie vs Black Tie: What's the Difference?

You might be wondering what (if any) differences there are between white tie and black tie. Well, both white tie and black tie are generally reserved for evening wear past 6 p.m. Some etiquette may allow them to be worn before this time, but you'll generally find that black tie and white tie is worn in the evenings, past 6 p.m. Now let's talk about the differences between white tie and black tie. As noted above, white tie is the single most formal type of dress code, which is why it's often used for weddings and balls. Black tie, on the other hand, is less formal than white tie but more formal than business casual.