Black Tie Dress Code

Black Tie Dress Code

Wedding, ceremony, milestone birthday, no matter the occasion the rules for a black tie event generally remain the same, helping to take some of the pressure off when deciding what to wear. Black tie can bring an air of elegance and confidence to your event when worn correctly.

Difference between a tuxedo and a suit

If your event invite says “black tie optional” or “black tie preferred” you have a choice. You can go with either a Tuxedo or a Dark Suit. But what’s the actual difference?

The main difference between the two is in the satin detailing.

Tuxedo or Suit
Tuxedos, also known as dinner jackets will usually have satin facing on the lapels, buttons, pockets as well as a satin stripe along the leg of the trousers. Whereas with suits the material of the jacket, lapel and trousers are made of the same material. A tuxedo is worn with a bow tie and a suit is worn with a tie.

How should men dress for a black tie event?

Black tie is a dress code requiring men to wear a dinner jacket along with matching trousers, white shirt and black formal shoes as well as a bowtie to complete the look.

Optionally men can also wear a cummerbund or waistcoat.

Black Tie Jacket

When choosing a jacket for a black tie event the colors black and blue are your best options. Originally black tie isn’t black but midnight blue, this is because black tends to look dusty under artificial light so opting for dark blue will work in your favor greatly.

Navy or Black

Black Tie Trousers

Choosing a pair of trousers for a black tie event is much easier, simply choose a pair of dark fitted trousers that have a neutral taper. Be aware of not choosing trousers that are too short or too long. You want your trousers to flatter your body shape and not be too baggy. Traditional black tie trousers have a single row of braiding along the leg, however that’s not a necessity these days.

Satin Stripe or not

Pleated White Shirt

Black tie shirts are usually made from a stiff cotton fabric with black or white buttons and holes for your cufflinks. A wing collar is traditional but standard collars work perfectly too, pleats are common but if you’re wearing a cummerbund you want to avoid them as they can make you seem too busy and distracting.

Waistcoat / Vest

Waistcoats help create a sleek and sophisticated look, helping to accentuate the deep V of the dinner jacket, if you’re wanting to add aesthetic interest to your outfit why not try a textured fabric on your waistcoat.


Give yourself a burst of personality with a dash of color on your bowtie. Avoid white unless it’s for a specific white tie event. Ensure you choose a bowtie that is proportionate to your head. More often these days people are opting for a black tie as opposed to a black bowtie – referred to as Hollywood black tie.

Black Formal Shoes

When choosing shoes for your black tie event, narrow and round toed is recommended. If you want to stand out with a casual aesthetic why not try a black sneaker.


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