Styling - Black Tie

How do you define the dress code black tie?

Black Tie is a dress code that is defined as the traditional tuxedo and its accoutrements. This incorporates a dinner suit consisting of a white dress shirt, black dinner jacket and matching trousers, patent shoes, bow tie or long black tie and evening studs for the shirt can be optional.

Is black the only colour suit a man should wear for black tie? Is midnight blue or grey appropriate?

It really depends on the event. If it’s a conservative event, wear a traditional black dinner suit. If it’s a more contemporary event and you wish to make a fashion statement, then opt for these sorts of colours. If you attend black-tie events often, then you should invest in a quality classic black single breasted tuxedo as this particular style is enduring.

What is the most important rule for black tie?

Be mindful of your host/s or event organiser’s request for black tie etiquette and dress for the evening appropriately. Don’t turn up to the event in a suit and tie that you’d wear to the office party. Also never remove your jacket at the event, as it simply diminishes the sophistication of black tie all together.

What style tux should a man invest in eg: lapels, single or double breasted?

Either a black single breasted peaked lapel or shawl collar tuxedo. These styles never date. They offer a timeless look with striking appeal. Think James Bond…

Is a long neck-tie ever appropriate?

The long neck tie is essentially a fashion statement …a modern variation to the classic tuxedo. Appropriateness depends on the event and the look you are trying to create. If you are trying to achieve an effortless, classic look or if it’s a more conservative event, then a long neck tie would certainly not be suitable.

Should a man's waist still be covered when wearing black tie?

The waistband is traditionally meant to be covered either by a cummerbund, waist coat or buttoned double breasted jacket so it is essential that it sits high enough to remain hidden throughout the evening. Nowadays, a trimmed waistband and buttoned in braces offer a more sartorial finish and replace the cummerbund.

What should a man wear on his feet?

Black patent shoes. The high sheen on the patent shoe complements the piping in the trouser leg, satin covered buttons and satin lapel.