Black-Tie Dress Code – Dos And Don’ts

The Ultimate Guide to Dressing for a Black-Tie Event

Black-tie events are the pinnacle of formal dress codes, and dressing for them can be daunting for many men. The key to successfully dressing for a black-tie event is to understand the dress code and to have the right clothing items. In this guide, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of the black-tie dress code, and detail the specific clothing items required for men. We will also provide tips on how to put together the perfect black-tie outfit, and what accessories to pair with it.


What is a Black-Tie Event?

A black-tie event is a formal event that signifies importance, such as awards ceremonies, milestone birthday parties, grandiose weddings, or prestigious balls. These events are often memorable and require guests to dress in formal attire. A black-tie dress code is the highest level of formality in men’s fashion, and it requires guests to wear specific clothing items to ensure they look their best.

Clothing Items Required for Men

Dinner Jacket

A black dinner jacket, also known as a tuxedo, is essential to any man’s black-tie attire. The jacket should fit well, not too tight and not too loose. You want the jacket to hug your body without constricting your movement. A silk-lapelled jacket is a classic option for black-tie events, but in modern times, wool barathea has become a sophisticated substitute. Additionally, a velvet jacket is just as acceptable and, in some cases, chicer. For summer events, look for lighter-coloured dinner jackets such as tan, grey, and light blue.

Do not wear a traditional suit, sport coats, or blazers as the black-tie dress code strictly means a tuxedo or formal dinner jacket outfit.



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The rule of thumb is that as long as the trousers are dark, fitted, and match the jacket, you’ll be safe. Ideally, the trousers accompanying your dinner jacket should also be made from the same fabric. A pair of trousers with a satin stripe running down the side of each leg is a classy touch and looks great when paired with a matching dinner jacket. Additionally, trousers can have braces to increase comfort and permit the belly to indulge.

Two glaring no-go’s for trousers are having no more than one hem and wearing anything that clings


The shirt is the base for the black-tie ensemble. A black-tie shirt, formally known as a dress shirt, is the right way. Preferably one traditionally pleated with a winged collar and holds for cufflinks on the sleeve. Going shirtless is a definite no-no. Stay away from open-collar dress shirts as the black-tie dress code stipulates a bow tie or a formal necktie is required.


Black-tie events are a step up from your everyday work function, so your footwear should reflect that. A black shoe, leather and patent is the classic route that never fails. Depending on your outfit, velvet slippers are another solid option too. Just as important as the shoes are the socks you wear with them. Look for mid-calf socks in classic natural colours such as black and navy.

When looking for shoes for your upcoming event, both opened-toed and tennis shoes are the two options we recommend to steer clear of.


All stipulations made for the jacket apply to the bow tie. Bow-ties should always be hand-tied, so give yourself half an hour for preparation time. Unsurprisingly, the one golden rule for a black-tie event is the tie can never be white. White-ties are reserved for the white-tie event, among the loftiest dress codes.



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Dressing for a black-tie event doesn’t have to be daunting. Following the guidelines and having the right clothing items, you can easily put together a fashionable and dapper outfit that will make you look your best. Remember, the key is to keep it simple and let the quality of the garments speak for itself.

The black-tie dress code is the highest level of formality in men’s fashion and is sure to make you stand out at your next event. Now that you know what clothing items are required for a black-tie event, as well as some tips on how to put together the perfect outfit, all that’s left to do is polish your shoes, straighten your tie and enjoy the event.

Common Questions:

What constitutes a black-tie event?

Simply put, a black-tie event signifies importance, such as; awards ceremonies, milestone birthday parties, grandiose weddings or prestigious balls. These events are often memorable, meaning there’s no time for cutting corners.


What accessories should I pair with a black-tie suit?

A slim dress watch and cufflinks are brilliant options to add flavour to your black-tie suit outfit. Additionally, a pocket square is always a nice touch that adds personality to the outfit.