Awards and events season is fast approaching. Soon, you’ll get the dreaded email, message or letter in the post inviting you to something. There’s nothing wrong with the event itself - it’s the line of text that tells you the dress code is black tie that scares you.
What do you wear? How are you supposed to dress? What type of tie do you need!?
For the most part, this is probably the smartest you will ever have to dress. A black tie event will mean you have to don a nice tuxedo with a smart dinner jacket, white shirt, smart trousers, shoes and a bow tie.
We know, you are still very worried. It’s normal to panic as you don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of lots of people. So, here’s how to dress for a black tie event this year:
What should you wear to a black tie event?
Typically, you will need to get your hands on the following:
- A dinner jacket
- Dark trousers
- A dress shirt
- Black formal shoes
- Black formal socks
- A bow tie
- Some extra accessories (optional)
How should you choose a suitable dinner jacket?
The dinner jacket is the main part of your black tie outfit. Going down the old-school traditional route, you should stick to black suit jackets or a really deep midnight blue. The Sylvester Black Velvet Tuxedo is a fine example of a great traditional black tie suit. It’s even made from velvet, which was pretty much a staple when black tie outfits first came out.
But, the cool thing about your dinner jacket is that you do have room to be creative. There are some fairly strict rules to follow with many of the other elements of your outfit, but this is the piece where you can run wild and do something daring.
The Messina Tux Jacket is a fine choice for anyone that wants to stand out. You’re sick of boring black dinner jackets, so this one will be right up your street. It’s a brilliant purple jacquard tux jacket that goes extremely well with some black fitted suit trousers. Or, there’s the Fleet Floral Skinny Fit Black Suit that gives a more flocked tux for customers that want a more textured, darker edge to their tux rotations. It’s proven to be extremely popular as one of our best-selling suits.
Now, there are statements and there are statements. If you want to be the centre of attention and have the whole event stare at you, go bold with the Carter Jacket in burnt orange. It’s super bright and vibrant, while the colours go really well with a white shirt and black trousers.
Traditionally black tie tuxedos are slim-fitted and tight. This doesn’t mean your trousers should be painted on and you can barely move your arms because your jacket is so tightly fitted, but it does mean there should be a slightly slimline approach to the tailoring. However, more and more people are choosing a new modern style instead. Here, you opt for relaxed tailoring that’s a bit looser around the body. You’re not walking around in a baggy suit with trousers scraping along the floor, but you have more movement when it's time to hit the dance floor. The Nueve Suit Viggo is a brilliant contemporary product to consider and you can see a subtle difference in the way the jacket and trousers sit compared to the other products we’ve pointed out.
What about the rest?
As for the shirt, it should always be a white dress shirt. Traditionally, it will be pleated, but you can opt for something slightly different if you’re going for a modern look.
Your trousers, socks and shoes should all be black. Yes, yes, we know you like being creative and wearing some funky colours now and then. Unfortunately, you need to keep it simple here. Never turn up in white trousers or socks - you will embarrass yourself!
The bow tie is obviously very important, but it follows the same rules as the dinner jacket. You have more freedom to express your style here, opting for different colours or patterns. Just make sure it actually matches your jacket and the rest of your black tie outfit.
What are some must-have accessories?
Here are a few things you may consider adding:
- A waistcoat
- A cummerbund
- A watch
- A pocket square
Now, you’re all ready to dress up for an awards ceremony or formal black-tie dinner party. It’s all about getting the right tux together and pairing it with your accessories. If you want to stick to traditions, find some slim-fitted black or midnight blue jackets and pair them with a white shirt, black trousers, black socks and black shoes. Or, feel free to get a bit creative with your jacket colour and the fit of your suit. Round off the outfit with a bow tie and you are good to go and enjoy yourself!