What is a Black Tie Event

If you have received an invitation for a black tie event, you might wonder what exactly this means. The term black tie event refers to the expected dress code for the event; this dress code incidentally also indicates the formality level of the event. In this article, we’ll look at,

1. What is a Black Tie Event?
       – Meaning, Examples, Features and Variation

2. How to Dress for a Black Tie Event?
       – Black tie for Men
       – Black tie for Women

What is a Black Tie Event

A black tie event is an event that requires black tie dress code. While black tie dress code is less formal than white tie, it is still more formal than other dress codes. Evening weddings, award ceremonies, galas, charity balls, etc. are some examples of black tie events. These events are also usually evening or night events.

However, you may have also noticed some variations in black tie events; some invitations may require variations such as creative black tie, black tie optional, and black tie preferred. What these codes basically means is that your dress can be flexible, but it must be appropriate for a formal function. You can also wear traditional black tie attire for these events if you like.

When an invitation says black tie mandatory or black tie only, you must only wear standard black tie attire. Guests who are not wearing appropriate attire will be not allowed to enter the event. Let’s now briefly see how to dress for black tie events.

What is a Back Tie Event

How to Dress for a Black Tie Event

As described above, black tie events are formal or semi formal events, so you should always try to look your best. Black tie formal wear is more strict for men than women, so let’s look at black tie wear for men first.

Black Tie for Men

  • A single or double-breasted dinner jacket in black or midnight blue, having ribbed silk or grosgrain facings on a shawl collar or peaked lapel
  • A black formal waistcoat or black cummerbund
  • A white formal shirt with turned down collar and pleated or piqué fronts
  • Trousers made from the same material as the coat, having single braid along outside seams
  • A black bow tie or a black long tie
  • Black formal shoes with black dress socks
  • A black coat can be replaced with a white coat in hot weatherWhat is a Black Tie Event

Black Tie for Women

  • Floor-length dress such as ball gown or evening dress in a dark elegant color
  • Mid-length cocktail dress in a dark elegant color
  • Appropriate purse or clutch
  • Matching jewelry such as earrings, bracelet or understated necklace
  • Evening shoes
  • Tasteful makeupWhat is a Black Tie Event - 2

Read more about How to Dress for a Black Tie Event here.

Image Courtesy:

“Dinner in the great hall at Addington Palace” By Addington Palace – Own work via

“Party Dresses For Women Hot Sale Floor Length Halter Beaded Black” by  via

“Donnie Yen Formal” By Bullets Film, – Bullet Films  via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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