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blacktie-guide

STYLE GUIDE

Black Tie Attire
Decoded

Black Tie Attire
Decoded

Man wearing dark navy black tie tuxedo

Black tie, white tie, black tie optional—when it comes to black tie weddings (or other formal attire events) it’s all about the nuance. Our black tie guide is here to make formal events a little easier to navigate.

What does Black Tie mean?

One of the most long-standing and traditional of semi-formal dress codes, men’s black tie style is founded on a few essentials: dinner jacket with matching trousers (also known as a tuxedo), a pleated white shirt, black patent leather shoes and a classic silk bow tie. Whether it’s a wedding, a gala, or any other sophisticated gathering, a black tie dress code is a staple of elevated style that will never go out of style.

White tuxedo jacket for creative black tie.

What to Wear When the Invite States Creative Black Tie?

With weddings becoming less traditional, the black tie dress code has expanded to allow guests to infuse some of their personal taste into a traditional look—creative black tie. This dress code gives you a license to break away from convention, like trading in black-on-black for a colorful wool, cotton or velvet jacket and black trouser pairing. Moreover, you can give the white tux shirt a break and opt for turtleneck, or step into some velvet loafers instead of leather lace-us. For those who want a blend of the modern & the classic, creative black tie is the prime choice in evening wear.

Tuxedo Jacket styles Explained

Man wearing a grey shawl lapel tuxedo.
There are multiple tuxedo jacket styles, for an example grey shawl lapel tuxedo

The Peak Lapel

Black tie tuxedo with a peak lapel

Bold, yet refined, the peak lapel is the height of eveningwear style, and the enduring standard when it comes to tuxedo design thanks to its strong aesthetic and timeless appeal.

The Shawl Collar

Black tie tuxedo with a shawl collar

With clean lines and a rounded, modern shape, shawl lapel tuxedos offer an undeniably elegant and sophisticated silhouette that is always at home in formal occasions.

The Double-Breasted Tuxedo

Man wearing double-breasted tuxedo.

An iconic mainstay that's only becoming more popular, the double-breasted tuxedo's sharp lines and masculine aesthetic is perfect for a striking look that's never out of style.

Black Tie Goes White

Man wearing white dinner jacket tuxedo.
Man wearing white dinner jacket tuxedo.

Originally adapted as a warm weather alternative to the black tuxedo, white dinner jackets make for a smart, refined way to stand apart from classic evening color— especially in warmer climates.

When to Wear the White Dinner Jacket

When to Wear the White
Dinner Jacket

White dinner jacket with kissing buttons.

White dinner jackets are a popular option for outdoor weddings, during the spring and summer months. Not only does the color absorb less heat from the sun, but the color is also exceptionally suitable for lightweight and breathable fabrics like pure and blended cotton and linen. Pair your jacket with black trousers and a black bow tie for some classic contrast.

Velvet Dinner Jacket

Man wearing a green velvet jacket.

The velvet dinner jacket is rooted in late 19th century smoking jackets —opulent, amply tailored velvet & silk jackets worn to absorb cigar smoke & protect from falling ash. Today, the smoking jacket's modern cousin can be found tailored slim from pure cotton velvet with all the classic silk dinner jacket details —all in a range of colors that are sure to stand out.

When to Wear the Velvet Dinner jacket

When to Wear the Velvet Dinner jacket

Black tie optional and creative black tie dress codes are the perfect opportunity to hang up the tried-and-true tuxedo and go a little bolder with an infusion of color and texture. A velvet jacket paired with a turtleneck and matching black slippers is always a smart way to make an impression.

Tuxedo Shirts Explained

The classic pleated front tuxedo shirt for special occasions.
A closeup of the pleated front tuxedo shirt.

The Pleated Front

The Pleated Bib Front Shirt

For a more distinctive, yet still traditional look, the pleated bib front shirt is slightly less formal than a pique front but still works in any formal setting.

The Plain Front

The Plain Front Tuxedo Shirt

A clean, modern complement to slim-tailored jackets, the plain front tuxedo shirt is perhaps the least traditional but certainly the most versatile.

The Pique Bib Front

Subtly Textured Pique Bib Front Shirt

This traditional style features a studded front placket and a subtly textured pique bib for an iconic and refined evening look.

Formal Footwear

Leather Lace-ups Elegance Tuxedo Footwear.
Velvet Loafers The most Contamporary Blacktie Option

Leather Lace-Ups

The patent leather lace-ups

A sleek pair of patent leather lace-ups have long been the standard of tuxedo footwear elegance.

Velvet Slippers

Velvet Slippers, an alternative to patent leather lace ups for a tuxedo look.

The most contemporary of black-tie footwear options, velvet loafers add texture and style without skimping on the elegance.

Sneakers

Black Italian calf leather sneakers

Black Italian calf leather sneakers is the perfect way to dress down an elevated style.

Complete the Look

focused image on black tie tuxedo featuring the classic bow tie.
Complete your tuxedo look with cufflinks.

Bow Tie — The timeless and ever-essential bow tie is the classic way to complete any black tie ensemble.

Cufflinks — A subtle accent that goes a long way, a cufflinks is the perfect way to add a touch of your personality to a traditional style.