Posted by Samantha M

Black tie is the go to wedding look for evening events both in the UK and at weddings further afield. From the US to the south of France, black tie is considered one of the most elegant and timeless looks for men and women. For men, black tie means a formal dinner jacket although there are a number of variations on this theme. Wedding invites may say ‘Black Tie’ or ‘Black Tie Optional’ meaning smart, sophisticated and clean. Not sure how to make black tie your own? Read on for advice on wearing this classic look.

 

Black Tie for Weddings

Classic Black Tie Suit with a white cutaway collar dress shirt

 

Accessories: Silk Polka Dot Bow Tie, Silk Polka Dot Pocket Square & Navy Satin and Velvet Dress Scarf

 

What is Black Tie?

The traditional black tie look includes a tuxedo or formal black dinner jacket with black trousers, a black bow tie, and optional waistcoat or cummerbund. It is a style that has been evolving since the late Victorian period and always carries with it a feeling of old world glamour. It’s hard to wear black tie without getting a flash of James Bond or golden age Hollywood stars and it’s a style that looks good on every man.

It’s possible to get playful with black tie style without stepping too far outside of its traditional roots. A velvet tuxedo or dinner jacket ups the vintage style of your look and should be paired with traditional black trousers for a formal finish. Double and single breasted jackets are acceptable and lapels can be peaked or shawled with satin facing an option to add interest. The shirt should always be fresh and white to pull the whole look together. Whatever variation you opt for, the final look should be sleek and clean.

If you plan to hire your suit and accompaniments make sure you go for the best quality you can afford. An ill-fitting or shabby black tie look will never give the right impression.

 

Men's Black Tie Suit with a white satin dress scarf

 

Accessories: Polka Dot Silk Pocket Square, Polka Dot Silk Bow Tie & White Silk Satin Dress Scarf

 

How to Accessorise Black Tie?

Black tie accessories should always be sleek and monochrome. They may not be accessories that shout but done right they will add a subtle air of polish to your overall look. For scarves, choose a high quality silk fabric such as satin or to add texture a silk and velvet dress scarf works well.

Shoes should always be black, formal and highly polished or patent. Socks should be black, high quality and ideally long as this creates a clean unbroken look. Simple silver or gold cufflinks can add understated glamour while the bow tie itself should be black silk. A pocket square can work well and black or white silk should be chosen. A cummerbund or waistcoat can add a little more interest to your look but to maintain a simple finish they should also be in black.

 

Shop Black Tie Accessories

 

Navy Velvet Devore and Silk Satin Evening Dress Scarf
Navy Silk Satin & Velvet Dress Scarf
 
White Double Faced Silk Satin Scarf with Hand Knotted Tassels
White Silk Satin Dress Scarf
 
White and Navy Polka Dot Italian Silk Pocket Square
White Polka Dot Silk Pocket Square
 
Black Swarovski Crystal Pocket Square
Black Crystal Silk Pocket Square
 
Black Silk Pleated Bow Tie with Swarovski Crystals
Black Pleated Silk Bow Tie
 
Black Swarovski Crystal Studded Bow Tie
Black Crystal Silk Bow Tie
 

Black Tie Optional

The words ‘Black Tie Optional’ can send even the most style savvy man into a spin. You definitely don’t want to be the only person at the party in a tuxedo but equally, don’t want to turn up underdressed. A good idea is to find out what the groom’s attire will be and take your cue from him.

Black tie done right is one of the strongest looks you have in your wardrobe. Make sure your black tie measures up by following our style guide. For more advice on wedding style, check out parts 1 and 2 in our series on men’s wedding fashion.