Dean Martin once said: “In a tuxedo I am a star. In regular clothes, I am nobody”, and with good reason.
The truth is that a fine tuxedo adds prestige to your image and dressing well is a form of good manners, as Tom Ford rightly said, especially when it comes to formal eveningwear events.
Today, we are going to provide all the essential formalwear wittiness you will need to ensure black-tie success!
WHAT IS BLACK-TIE?
Black-Tie is a clothing worn in formal eveningwear social events.
From British men of the late 19th century, to New-Yorkers, James Bond and the Red Carpet, Black-Tie refers to attire more formal than the standard suits, but less formal than the white tie and tails. It is usually consisted of a black dinner jacket with matching trousers, a white shirt, a black bow tie, black dress socks and formal black shoes. A waistcoat is an option, too.
Paul Feig once said: “Wearing a tuxedo isn’t as simple as it sounds. I’ve been to a lot of award shows in Hollywood over the years and have seen some pretty sad tuxes. It’s surprisingly easy to go off the rails” and he is absolutely right!
The golden rule for looking as sharp as possible in Black-Tie attire is to keep it simple, quality and minimalistic.
WHY IS IT CALLED BLACK-TIE ?
It’s called “black-tie” for a reason.
The only befitting neckwear in this particular circumstance is a plain black (or inky midnight blue) self-tied bow tie.
A fine black or ink midnight blue (that appears black to the eye and camera lens) jacket suitable for a classic Black Tie attire should be well-tailored, sleek and classic.
A worsted wool, mohair or barathea weave cloth (approx. 250 for summer and approx. 350gr for winter) is one of the most proper materials.
The dinner jacket suitable for eveningwear should have peak or shawl lapels (never notch). The lapels should be silk, smooth satin or grosgrain and the buttons should have the same covering.
Either single or double breasted jackets are superb for black-tie attire. Single-breasted jackets should possess one button.
Flaps on jacket pockets are not appropriate, only jetted pockets are acceptable.
Can you wear a white or off-white jacket? Of course you can!
The trousers should match the material of the jacket.
Trousers should have a stripe fro the same silk used on the lapels covering the outside seam. Alternatively, a braid can also be used.
Slim-legged dinner trousers are the most appropriate and flattering.
The shirt should be white, made of a simple and quality cotton (plain or pique).
For a Black-Tie attire it should have a turn down collar. A wing collar is more appropriate for White Tie.
Regarding the buttons, we certainly suggest non-novelty shirt studs or buttons covered with fabric, as they are highly visible, due to the bow-tie.
Furthermore, a shirt that possesses a dickie would be ideal.
The shirt should be and look clean, minimalistic and timeless.
It could be beautifully worn with classic cufflinks – silver, gold, black or white.
The shoes should only be black and formal.
Only Oxford shoes are appropriate, forget the Bogues. A pair of well polished round-toed patent lace-ups are a very classy and stylish option for a Black-Tie attire.
The only one exception you can make regarding the shoes is the dandyish velvet slippers.
The right neckwear for a Black-Tie attire is a black self-tie bow tie in smooth silk or grosgrain.
The flirty self-tie bow tie is considered to be perfect for not being perfect. Sometimes, it looks uneven or asymmetric, but this exact feature offers a great attitude to your flawless and overall polished look. Its imperfection is what makes it irresistible.
Do not wear a long black tie like we see quite often on the red carpet.
You could add a little more something to your outfit by using a silk pocket square.
Some say that watches are not appropriate for Black-Tie, something that Ι find quite extreme. Of course you can wear a watch, but with one rule – just keep it sleek and elegant (chronograph has no place in this occasion!)
The most daring, could experiment with silk scarves or jewels, but it is important to maintain the clean and classic look. A refined boutonnière or a signet ring would work just right.
The socks should be black, made of silk or cashmere.
The hair and the grooming should be perfect in order to exactly match the overall sharp and tidy look. Don’t forget your fragrance!
On today’s black-tie look I chose to show you two different jackets that are appropriate for eveningwear events.
The black one is a single-breasted one-button jacket made of barathea fabric with grosgrain silk peak lapels. The line of the shoulders is natural and unconstructed with a very soft roping.
The white single-breasted jacket made of Italian mohair, possesses shawl lapel with banana shape. It is also completely unconstructed with natural shoulder and Neapolitan sleeve.
The trousers of the tuxedo have buttons for braces, jetted pockets, it has no pleats. The outside trim is covered by a vintage English cloth.
The cotton white shirt has an Oxford pique dickey and mother-of-pearl shirt studs.
The bow-tie is the characteristic ballon self-tie bow tie by Dolcepunta.
With these helpful tips you will definitely be rocking the Black-Tie event appropriately.