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DressAfford black tie formal outfits

Dress Requirements for Black Tie

By Vex Morgenstern, eHow Contributor If you received an invitation that says "black tie" or "black tie required," this means you will be required to dress formally. Black tie etiquette demands that men wear a tuxedo and women wear a formal evening gown or cocktail dress.

Black Tie Dress Requirements For Men

For men, black tie means a tuxedo. This is the most formal type of menswear, and there are several components to a tuxedo outfit. You should have a black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers, a formal tuxedo shirt with a pleated front, and a black bow tie and cummerbund or vest. Shoes must be black patent leather with black socks. Suspenders may be worn, but they are not mandatory. In the summer or on a cruise ship, it is acceptable to wear a white tuxedo jacket with black pants.

Black Tie Dress Requirements For Women

Black tie dress requirements for women are not as strenuous as they are for men. Women may wear an evening gown or a cocktail dress, in any color or cut they wish. An evening gown comes in several lengths: tea, which comes to the mid-calf; ballerina, which extends to the ankle; and full length, which reaches the floor. Cocktail gowns usually come to just above the knee or to the mid-calf, but the longer length is considered more formal. Women may also wear a dinner suit. Shoes should be dressy and match the rest of your outfit. You may also carry a clutch or small handbag. DressAfford black tie formal outfits

Different Types Of Black Tie Parties

Most of the time, an invitation will simply say "black tie" if you are expected to wear formal wear. But some hosts make changes or exceptions to these requirements. If you see the words "creative black tie," this means you can add trendy or whimsical touches to your ensemble, such as a patterned bow tie or crocheted handbag. "Black tie optional" means that you do not have to wear a tuxedo or evening gown, but you should dress in a suit or cocktail dress if you do not. "Black tie required" means you may not be admitted without the proper attire.

Alternatives To Black Tie Requirements

Even though some hosts are stringent about black tie requirements, it is rare these days for someone to be turned away from an event because he is not wearing a tuxedo. If you cannot afford black-tie wear or cannot get it on short notice, wear a dark suit with a white shirt and black socks. Women can wear a suit or a cocktail dress. You are also permitted to come to a formal event in traditional attire, such as Scottish dress or a Japanese kimono. Military members may attend black tie events in a military mess uniform.