The summer is upon us and, with it, a spectrum of formal events that put added focus on our wardrobes. With an increasing number of weddings opting for black tie and the usual summer season operas and cocktail parties on the horizon, it’s time to make sure your formal wear is working for you. When it comes to wearing black tie in the summer, the key is to soften a traditional look that can feel more at home in the dark. Whether you’re a black tie veteran or you are about to attend your very first black tie event we have everything you need to know about dressing for formal events this summer.
What is Black Tie?
If you haven’t attended a formal event in the past, just the words ‘black tie’ on the invite can send you into a tailspin. Relax, it is more straightforward than you think. Traditionally, black tie for men simply means a black dinner jacket or tuxedo jacket with black trousers. The jacket will normally have lapels made from a contrasting material. The suit is worn with a white shirt and bow tie or slim tie. A waistcoat is optional. Shoes are nearly always black and often made of patent leather.
Invest in Quality
When it comes to formal wear, quality shows. This means you should try and invest in at least one high-quality dinner jacket and trousers as well as taking care to choose beautiful shirts and accessories. If your budget won’t stretch to investing in a brand-new suit, you should always hire the best you can afford.
For black tie dressing in the summer, the devil is in the detail. Choosing accessories that add interest can lift a standard dinner jacket and create a freshness that feels appropriate at a summer event. Opt for a colourful or patterned bow tie and pocket square or a light summer scarf in an unusual print to ensure you stand out in a sea of black. Scarves should be made of silk or a fine linen so as not to overwhelm your look. Bending the rules of black tie is permitted and can help you make your style mark.
Go Beyond Black
Is it ever permissible to take the black out of black tie? Sometimes, especially in summer. It’s a trend that has been seen increasingly on catwalks and red carpets and can be the perfect way to find your personal black tie look. Charcoal grey, navy or white jackets can be more flattering to some skin tones and form the perfect contrast to colourful ties and accessories. Think outside of the box and find a version of black tie that works for you. If you are considering steering away from tradition it might be a good idea to speak to your hosts and confirm the flexibility of their dress code.
Here at Black, we have all the accessories you need to take your formal wear to the next level. Explore our range of ties, scarves and pocket squares today.