By Patrick Cooper, Mar 8 2017 10:34AM
Many men panic when they receive an invitation to a black tie event. Questions run through their mind: "What does black tie mean?" "Does my tuxedo still fit?" "Do I even remember how to wear it?"
The reality is far less mysterious. Black tie is the simplest dress code for men because the rules are clearly enumerated.
Black tie is often considered the pinnacle of modern formality (aside from white tie, which has been completely forgotten about, and is almost never worn aside from royal weddings).
Here's what you need to wear for a black tie event:
- A completely black tuxedo with a white formal shirt featuring a wing collar, finished with a black satin bow tie. Sometimes a black satin cummerbund is added, but that is becoming less and less common.
- Black socks and black patent leather shoes are non-negotiable for footwear here.
Recently, some men have edited their black tie ensembles. They have instead worn ivory jackets, navy tuxedos, or suede shoes. This deviation makes tuxedos a degree or two less formal, and it will be frowned upon at more conservatively dressed events.