How to dress black tie

For advise on how to dress black tie you're in the right place! Here you find how to dress for black tie events. We also give examples of black tie attire for men. Follow the tips you find on this page and you will look great on your upcoming black tie party! 

What is a black tie party?

Black tie is a dress code that is only worn in the evening on the following occasions: receptions, dinners, weddings, festive affairs in general and if it is on the invitation. Black tie stands for elegant and chic. Black tie is less formal than white tie, but more formal than informal. It is also more formal than recent intermediate codes like ‘creative’, ‘alternate’ and ‘optional’ black tie. Black tie must be worn with a smoking by men. Other words for a smoking are Cravat noir, Tuxedo or Dinner jacket. Unlike white tie, which is very strictly regulated, black tie gives space for more variation.

How to dress black tie

Did you receive an invitation with a black tie dress code? Get your self ready because this means that you have to dress by the rules. But don't get overwhelmed! We help you out, and women love this look! Just apply the following tips.

  • The elements of black tie are a suit/ tuxedo, usually of black wool. A tuxedo is a two piece black or midnight blue suit (with a one button placket) in which the front and back are the same length with silk or satin lapels (collar).
  • As the name says it: the tuxedo is worn with a matching black tie.
  • The tuxedo can be supplemented with a tuxedo vest or cumberbund. Nowadays the tuxedo vest is worn the most. On very chic black tie events the cumberbund is also a much worn element.
  • Under the tuxedo has to be worn a white ‘tuxedo’ shirt with a regular collar, a double cuff / manchet and a blind plug.  Traditionally the front of the shirt is pleated. The collar should be a foldover or winged standing. (Old style detachable collars or winged collars are also acceptable for this dress code, although these are extraordinarily rare nowadays.
  • The trousers have satin pipings (gallons) to the side seams on both sides of the trousers.
  • For the footwear you need black smooth shoes, traditionally patent leather court shoes (pumps). You can choose for shoes without laces. Nowadays also highly polished or patent leather Oxfords are often worn. You need long black socks (stockings), usually of silk or fine wool.
  • Leave your watch at home or in the car. With a black tie code it is seen as impolite to look at your watch during the party. Time shouldn’t be important.
  • Don’t wear any supplementing accessories.

Examples of black tie attire for men

Relevant tips and ideas on how to dress black tie:

  • Check out the parties in the navigation bar for more specific parties.
  • Wonder what to wear to a party? Just return to and check out our newest updates, pictures and information about your next party look!



Now that you know how to dress black tie, click here for other dress codes!