Black tie attire for men can often seem a bit stuffe and dated, but we guarantee yout, that with this 5 minute guide on how to modernize the black tie attire we will change your perspective on this very classy look.
As you might have guessed already, the black tie dress code is one of the fex dress codes with very strict guidelines. We put together an entire cheat sheet for you that will help you understand the do’s and dont’s of the black tie attire dress code and create the perfect look for your next wedding and/or reception that requires you to show up in a black tie attire.
To begin, let’s start with trying to understand the definition of the attire; it is without a doubt the most formal dress code and there is actually a wrong way to style the black tie attire. That may sound annoying to some, especially in today’s “self-expression fashion world”, but the whole behind the black tie attire is that everyone is an equal and should look like (yeah, kind of like a school uniform). A good thing about this dress code however, is that you don’t have to worry about being overdressed or underdressed, because you know exactly what is expected from you: a black tuxedo, a black bow tie, white shirt, and black shoes. You can probably already tell that the whole ensemble should be black and white, more or less.
You might ask yourself “if it’s that black white, what else is there to know?”
Well, we will tell you. There are actually a couple of ways to make a black tie outfit more personalized, for example the fit of the tuxedo, to stand out in this groupl full of same dressed man. For example, you could go with a nicely fitted tuxedo for a more modern look. It is also important to consider the shape of the lapel and the accessories. Working with a limited color palette doesn’t mean that you can’t be unique, you just have to play around with what you get.
Men’s Black Tie Attire for Weddings:
If you get invited to a wedding that calls for a black tie attire dress code it is guaranteed to be a very fancy one.
To achieve a fresh feel, a peak lapel tuxedo fitted to your body type is probably your best option if you want to go with the most formal version. You can get one of those here at ALBERTGERALD and we will help you create the perfect fit started from the length of the pants all the way to right jacket length.
However, if you’re aiming for a more modern black tie attire look, try a black shawl lapel tuxedo. This tuxedo’s rounded lapel isn’t quite as traditional as the peak lapel, but it’s still formal enough for a black tie wedding, and guess what, you can get a tuxedo like this also here ate ALBERTGERALD.
If you want to show up to the wedding looking like a classic 10, a traditional wing tip shirt is the best choice for you, but a simple white cotton dress shirt will get the job done as well. And with both of the shirts you accessorize it with button studs and cufflinks to up the shirt game even more.
If it is your goal to achieve a modern mashup, try a pleated front with fold-down collared shirt and to draw some extra glance pick one with french cuffs.
This is really the part where you can let your personality show the most. “How?”, well, no two solid black bow ties really look and feel the same. You can make the biggest difference here with the shape and the material: diamond point style, butterfly bow tie, or just a wider than usual butterfly bow tie in a satin finish will set your outfit apart from the other ‘boring’ black tie attire looks.
Yes, just like in real life even a small thing can make the biggest difference. The white pocket square is the greates weapon in contrast against your black tuxedo jacket.
Patent leather and black tuxedos is your best choice here, but if you are a shoe lover and you can’t and won’t stick to the basics, no matter whose wedding you are attending, try a cap toe shoe with contrasting patent.
CUFFLINKS & BUTTON STUDS
A lot of men like to overdo their cufflinks. But it is really best for you to stick with something more subtle. If you also want to wear button studs, just make sure that the metals match the once on the cufflinks.
The vest is a more modern choice, but you should still keep it traditional if you decide to wear a vest to a black tie event. Go for a low cut vest, it won’t show when you button up, and it will let the white dress shirt shine.
Black Tie Attire for Special Events
If you get invited to a special event that requires you to wear a black tie attire, CONGRATULATIONS, it looks like you are living through the time of your life.
These kinds of events probably don’t come along often, but when they do, make sure to make the most of it and do it right or don’t show up at all. If you get the feeling this is a more conservative event, stick with a traditional black tie attire: black and white everything, with minimal latitude for patterns on your accessories.
In fact, every option we listed above would work just as well as men’s black tie attire for weddings as it would for a special event.
But if it does seem like a more trendy event, it is totally okay for you to do a little more to stand out than out. In the following paragrph we summed up some more style ideas you can take for inspiration.
Notch lapels are the most casual black tuxedo style, the lapels are shaped like most suit lapels, and they mostly have a two button front where as the shawl and peak lapel have a one button front. Even though the notch lapel tuxedo is more casual than the other two options it is still a smart and absolutely acceptable choice for a modern black tie dress code.
Yes, you are seeing this correctly, that is in fact a midnight blue tuxedo. While celebrities often wear these types of tuxedos at award shoes, the style was actually designed a long time ago as a substitute for the common black tuxedo. And it is still, to this day a perfectly fine alternative that follows the black tie dress code etiquette.
A black tie dress code is the perfect opportunity for you to wear a french cuff shirt. But if you are not the type to wear a french cuff shirt it is still totally fine to go with a the very reliable cotton dress shirt.
A very subtle pattern on your bow tie is just one example of how you can live in the black and white palette while still making a statement and standing out. You can play around with shape and texture, and a batwing bow tie is a modern take on the butterfly shape.
This is the time to play around and have some fun since it leaves you a bit more room to play. A pin dot pocket square for example is a very elegant and interesting option to choose and you are still in black tie attire. Just remember not to match the bowtie with the pocket square since that would be a little too “matchy” and kind of boring. And since you are already looking to stand out you don’t want to mess it up with this small but significant ‘mistake’.
As long as your pocket square is predominantly black it won’t be too funky if you go with something like the picture on the right.
WAIST COVERING (OPTIONAL)
We wouldn’t pair a cummerbund with the notch lapel tux above, but you can pull the same low cut vest move with a midnight blue tuxedo that you could with the shawl collar or peak lapel tuxedos. Just make sure you match the tux with a midnight blue vest.
We hope that this little guide helped you a bit to understand how a black tie attire works and how you can make it work.
Here at AlbertGerald we are always determind to help you to not only find the right look for you, but also create the right fit for you.
Schedule your appointment with us today