The Black Tie Dress Code

Gala Dinners and Award Ceremonies around the world usually adopt a “Black Tie” dress code. Unlike its literal meaning, Black Tie in this context means to wear a Dinner Jacket, which is more commonly known today as a Tuxedo Suit and is considered the most formal attire for a gentleman.

What Is Tuxedo Suit?

A Dinner Jacket or Tuxedo Suits have a few elementary characteristics which one should always abide by. Traditionally a Tuxedo Suit is always made of a plain solid black fabric with a Shawl Lapel made in black shiny satin fabric, one satin fabric covered button in the front and no more than three fabric buttons on the sleeve. The trousers are without belt loops and with a one centimetre satin strip running along the outer side seam. This is worn traditionally with a black satin cummerbund and a white pleated tuxedo shirt made with a wing tip collar to wear a black bow-tie and French cuffs for black cufflinks. The entire ensemble is then topped off with black studs on the shirt and black shiny patent leather shoes which are oxfords, brogues or whole cuts.

Over time a few details with regards to traditional tuxedo suits have evolved since everyone following the traditional rules of wearing a tuxedo suit started making everyone looking exactly the same in black tie events with absolutely no way to showcase their individuality. Due to this the shirt is now more commonly worn without pleats and with just black buttons instead of studs. Sometimes even the collar is made to accommodate a regular tie instead of a bow tie and the cummerbund is replaced with a black scooped waistcoat. All this has been gradually done as a conscious decision to look slightly different in a crowd of people in which everyone is wearing a tuxedo suit and has now become an acceptable variation of the traditional tuxedo suit which was originally invented by Henry Poole – The first bespoke tailor on Savile Row, London. However, making yourself stand apart whilst keeping the basic traditional rules of tuxedo suits intact is the true test of having a mature sartorial understanding.

Make Your Tuxedo Suit Stand Apart in Black Tie Events

  • You can opt for a dark midnight blue fabric instead of the regular black one in your tuxedo suit.
  • You could also add some hints and details by instructing your bespoke tailor to make the pocket jetting on the dinner jacket to be the same black satin fabric as your lapel and make the top border of your breast pocket in that same fabric as well. The lapel can be a peak lapel instead of the regular shawl lapel.
  • If you feel you are going to win an award and would like to make the ultimate sartorial statement then you can opt for a dark midnight blue double-breasted tuxedo suit with a black peak or shawl lapel and black fabric buttons on the jacket paired with a black trouser. Wearing a double-breasted tuxedo suit will immediately make a powerful statement and setting yourself apart making others realize that you are a gentleman of high sartorial understanding.
  • The final element that will put you at the top of the sartorially refined will be to wear a self-tied black bow-tie which will tell other that you are in the know of the art of tying a bow-tie which can further be made to notice by leaving it open and hanging around your neck towards the end of the event making you achieve the epitome of sartorial elegance with your tuxedo suit.

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