Every so often we are invited to functions that are categorized as “black tie”.  Originating in the 19th century, a black tie dress code was used for evening events where semi-formal attire was required. Although the term “black tie” has today come to be synonymous with formal wear, the basic elements that made up the attire then and now have not been lost over time.

Men are required to have a dinner/tuxedo jacket which is distinguishable by its satin lapels and trimmings. Usually created in black, midnight blue or white , they are made with only one frontal button to ensure a low cut. A perfectly fitted tuxedo with tasteful touches of satin exudes elegance like nothing else. Whilst not as common anymore, traditionally the pants would also have satin trimmings to pair with the jacket as well as side tabs to remove the need of a belt. The whole piece is brought together by either a waistcoat or cummerbund.

An often-overlooked aspect of a black tie affair is the shirt that is paired with the tuxedo. Tuxedo shirts feature a front that is either pleated or otherwise piqued to highlight that it is on a level above the regular 9-5 shirt. A classic touch is the stud buttons that are inserted into the shirt to again highlight its elegance above an ordinary dress shirt. It is also vital to ensure that the shirt has French cuffs and a turn down collar (although some find a wing collar to be acceptable in modern standards).

When it comes to accessories, minimal is key with a simple white pocket square and black shoes. Nothing else is required to complete the look as the dress code is meant to scream formal not flamboyant. Unless, of course, that’s how you want it.

With a caché of knowledge, fabrics and customisation options, speak to us at R&H today about your next black tie event.