A woman who has never been to a black tie event, I feel that the fashion world tends to get quite wrapped up in what is considered the “in” thing to wear.
Too often the rules of formality are relaxed just enough to allow you to look good in a nice tux or suit; and then once the occasion has passed, you are left wondering what to wear for dinner with your significant other.
I have been to so many black tie events where the host or hostess will ask the men if they would like to leave their shirts on. It is at this point that the host usually suggests a back tie dress code. That is fine for traditional events such as weddings or graduations, but what about a night out dancing? A back tie dress code really isn’t necessary.
One of the reasons it isn’t considered a “back to basics” type of black tie event is because of the accessories that typically accompany the evening’s attire. Traditional tuxedos come in all different colors and styles, and are often custom fit. A full back tuxedo is also considered to be one of the most formal pieces of clothing you can find.
Women’s evening gowns are generally fitted, and there is nothing better than a full back gown to dance in. You don’t need a belt to hold your waist in place, and there is plenty of room to move around.
When it comes to what to wear in a black tie event, there are several options. For the men, the most common accessory for the evening is a cufflink. These will be black and might be studded with diamonds or other precious stones. For the ladies, the most common accessory is a little black dress with a satin sash, usually with an attached belt.
Other men choose to wear shirt and trousers, with a matching tie. If you choose to do this, you should make sure to coordinate your colors so that your accessories match. The traditional color for women’s tuxedos is black, but it doesn’t have to be. Whatever color you choose, it should be a good color, cut, and style.
Black tie events also call for a lot of accessories. Cocktail jackets are the most common, as they give you the ability to show off your stylish side without looking like you are trying too hard. Men usually wear a white shirt with a black tie, but you can be more adventurous by wearing a vest or cummerbund instead. It really depends on how daring you want to get!
For women, the traditional black tie look calls for a long, form-fitting dress with slits up to the knees. It is best to avoid anything too form-fitting, such as tight-fitting cardigans. You might also avoid elegant, straight-leg pants, unless they are made from a material that will sit low on your leg, such as a skirt.
Women who want to stand out can wear short, ankle-length skirts with high heeled shoes or boots.
While most people assume that only men wear black tie events, this is not always true. Many women enjoy the attention that they get, especially if there are many guests at the party. So, women can choose to wear pastel colors or bold patterns and colors.
Black, gray, navy, and dark blue are the most popular, but you can experiment with other colors, as well. Remember, the color of your tie says something about you, so you want to be sure to choose a color that compliments your skin and hair color.
Choosing what to wear in a black tie event isn’t always an easy task. If you need inspiration, try asking some of your male friends for some suggestions. Most men will have a few suggestions for you to choose from. Once you’ve found your own style, you’ll be ready to rock up your best black tie look!