The contemporary man looks dapper in a Black Tie outfit, be it dressing to officiate, dressing to celebrate, or dressing to participate. Whilst very formal, the dinner suit–or tuxedo to our American friends–is not only for formal events, Black Tie is also becoming a more and more popular option for weddings. If this is your dress code, here are some things you need to know...
CLOTH. Black is traditional when it comes to dinner jackets, however midnight blue offers a compelling alternative to modern Black Tie dressing. The midnight blue produces less of a sheen than black when under artificial light, and current trends suggest that Blue is the New Black. We also adore the look of an off-white or ivory jacket, which you must always pair back with black dinner trousers. This look has Casino Royale written all over it.
JACKET. A dinner jacket should have a silk facing i neither satin or grosgrain.The lapel style can be shawl collar or peak lapel. Notch lapel is accepted but less popular these days and rarely seen on a Black Tie jacket.
TROUSERS. Dinner suit trousers will always have silk or satin braid on the outer seam, and the matching silk waistband should never have belt loops.
SHIRT. The dinner shirt should have a marcella or pleated front, with French cuffs for cufflinks. Traditionally, wing tip collars are worn forBlack Tie however normal collars are very acceptable and very much on trend. Stud front or covered button placket? That is entirely your preference.
BOW TIE. Strictly, Black Tie means a black bow tie.However, nowadays you can play with colours and patterns that are also appropriate for most functions. It is advantageous to wear a bow tie that you can tie yourself –imperfections are desirable –and the size of the bow should reflect the size of your body.
CUMMERBUND. This silk accessory used to be very popular to complete the look but nowadays it’s almost a forgotten piece. It gives you the opportunity to add a bit of colour or pattern to your Black Tie attire, but if you choose to wear one, ensure the cummerbund and bow tie are in the same fabric.
STUDS. Shirt studs in black or ivory can add a special touch and highlight your outfits elegance.
SOCKS. Black dress socks are the only choice. Silk or wool blend are recommended.
SHOES. Black shoes only–patent leather is preferred, or your highly polished leather dress shoes. Both lace-up shoes and loafers are accepted, but leave your boots at home.