Formal Black Tie Attire Events & Weddings For Men: The Ultimate Cheatsheet

Black Tie Event Dress Code

A black tie event dress code for men is usually a dark suit with a white shirt. It is a formal event - which means that you have to adhere to certain rules. Although named a "black tie" event - you can actually wear any colour you want (except white.. and black!), as long as you follow the basic principles.

A strict black tie event should be attended in all black - with a black tie. This is very rare - but if you’re going to a black tie wedding and it specifies black tie only - then make sure you wear a black suit with a black tie, just wear all black basically.

The types of events which are “black tie” are:

  • Weddings when requested by the hosts

  • Galas - for example the Oscars/Met Gala

  • Charity balls

  • Award ceremonies

It’s very easy to make a mistake with this kind of event, so before we get into talking about potential outfits, etc. let’s talk about the absolutely basic essentials of a black tie event:

WHAT TO WEAR

WHAT NOT TO WEAR

WHITE/LIGHT BLUE DRESS SHIRT

PATTERNED COLOURFUL SHIRTS

STANDARD TIE

OVERLY COLOURFUL TIES

MATCHING ACCESSORIES

OVERLY COLOURFUL ACCESSORIES

DARK TUXEDO/SUIT

LIGHT TUXEDO/SUIT

BLACK/DARK DRESS SHOES

COLOURFUL DRESS SHOES


Which Italian brands make the best Black Tie Wedding/Event Suits?

In this article you will see a few suits, tuxedos/smoking jackets, which should match perfectly for whichever black tie event you have been invited to.



The brands in this article are:


How to look modern at a Black Tie Event?

Men's formal wear can also include a suit, tie, tuxedo jacket, bowtie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. It's really your choice - but the important thing is that you do not commit any faux pas.

The common mistakes people make when attending a black tie event are:

  • Wearing a white or black tie (black ties are only really for funerals and the opera)

  • Wearing incredibly contrasting colours, like a neon pink tie, yellow shoes etc

  • Wearing all black to a day wedding

  • Wearing a tie with a tuxedo

  • Wearing a lounge suit with a light shade

  • Wearing the wrong - or not matching - accessories properly

  • Wearing the wrong shirt

  • Wearing jeans

If a wedding has a black tie tag attached to it - any of the above mistakes are considered fashion faux pas. Avoid them at all costs.

Where can I buy black tie essentials?

If you've just been invited to a black tie event - you may be asking yourself where you can get all of the essentials to make sure you can make an impression - without committing fashion sins along the way.

IsuiT - Italian Sartorial Luxury - We sell all of the necessary accessories and suits/tuxedos that you will ever need to look your best at a formal event.

Here's a handy list of links to important pages on our website to get your essentials today:

For those who want to avoid the hassle of renting clothes for an evening out on the town, there are plenty of options available online. Shop with a trusted store today - and choose IsuiT.

One popular choice is the modern day tuxedo - this outfit includes pants and a matching jacket that can be worn over any color shirt you choose. It is definitely recommended you wear a white tuxedo shirt - or a light blue dress shirt. Sartorio Napoli is a great designer fashion brand with a fantastic range of dress shirts.


What does black tie optional mean?

Another option is what some refer to as "black tie optional" - this means it doesn't matter what you're wearing as long as it fits within certain guidelines 

This type of event typically has less strict rules about attire than other types of events such as galas where everything from your belt to your cufflinks have to be coordinated.

It is more or less the same as black tie events nowadays - as traditional all black dinner jacket/tuxedo events have slowly changed to allow more customisation for each person. 


Can you wear a navy suit to a black tie wedding?


Absolutely! In fact, navy is one of the recommended colours - as it fits with the theme. The theme is dark - not black. If you don’t own your own black suit, or simply don’t want to wear one, you absolutely can wear any of the following colours to a black tie event:


  • Black 

  • Burgundy

  • Navy

  • Dark Brown

  • Charcoal


Any other colours should be questioned, and you may make a mistake if you wear something from a different colour.


Here’s a great example of a 3-piece suit (which comes with a matching waistcoat). Something like this (from Kiton) is a PERFECT purchase for someone who attends a fair amount of black tie events. It’s stylish, modern, and of incredible quality. 


As you can see from the picture, a red tie, or similar tie, will go perfectly with this suit. 

Can you wear a tuxedo to a wedding?

A tuxedo - or a dinner jacket - is normally considered to be for evenings. If the wedding you’re attending is marked as a black tie event, then you can only wear a tuxedo if it’s a nighttime wedding (or for the afterparty/dinner).


During the day - you would want to wear a suit. Follow the tips we’ve already talked about in this article, and find your perfect black tie affair clothes today!


Can you wear a normal suit to a black tie event?

As mentioned previously in this article, as long as you follow certain rules, you can wear any suit you want. 


It’s important that you don’t wear a suit that doesn’t fit the occasion, so steer clear of any overly bright suits or blazers, yellow, orange etc. It’s not the time to experiment.