Black tie is the dress code usually reserved for events of an extremely formal nature, such as corporate awards ceremonies, gala dinners, charity events and fundraisers, and balls. The requirement for sticking to the rules as a gent attending one of these events is cannot be misconstrued, as you will stand out as a rule breaker on the big night. We at Dobell are true experts in black tie, and the tuxedo is ingrained in our very beginnings, so we like to know what we’re talking about.
We’ve got the whole thing covered in our black tie style guide which is a must read, but we can cover the basics here.
You must be wearing a tuxedo, a black suit just won’t cut it here. The tuxedo jacket and trousers should match, unless you have decided to wear a modern, contrasting colour scheme. (We’ve got some fantastic velvet and tweed tuxedos here).
The tuxedo trousers shouldn’t, per traditional rules anyway, have belt buckles, as no belt is to be worn with the outfit. Either use well fitted trousers, or add some subtle braces, we suggest either black or white as the most appropriate colour choice.
The shoes should be black patent leather, lace up rather than loafer, however a black penny loafer does look good, and you’ll get compliments rather than sour looks. Try and avoid matt black leather shoes at a black tie event, as they will really stand out, in the wrong way.
Use a cummerbund across the midsection to hide the shirt billowing over the trousers. These also add a bit of a slimming effect to your body-line, so come in handy after a large meal.
The bow tie should match the lapels of your tuxedo, so opt for a black silk bow tie. There is a feeling that self tie bow ties are the wise mans choice, but pre-tied bow ties are widely accepted also.
Wear black socks, other colours are not appropriate.
Hopefully this helps, but we really recommend checking out the Dobell black tie style guide as the bible.