What is black tie?


Are you wondering what is black tie, and how to dress black tie after you recieved an invitation with a black tie dress code? Prepare yourself, this formal party dress code can be an interesting challenge! The nice thing about this dress code is that you can finally get the diva out of yourself that always has been there, cause black tie attire is all about being elegant and chic! Here you can find all the information you need on how to dress black tie. Check out these black tie outfits and follow our tips and you will look incredible on your upcoming black tie event!


For a less formal black tie event you can wear a knee length or tea length cocktail gown. Here Mila Kunis is wearing a beautiful tea length gown. This gorgeous red dress really suits her skin tone.

  • Shoes: Christian Louboutin
  • Clutch: Jimmy Choo
  • Earrings: Indulgy
  • Bracelet: Tate Ossian

What is black tie?

Black tie is one of the most formal dress codes, although not as formal as the white tie dress code. It is only used after 6 pm (or after dark) and it's worn at formal occasions like weddings, receptions, exclusive dinners and galas.

How to dress black tie

  • If you go to an event with a black tie dress code this means that the black tie attire you're suppose to wear is a long evening gown or a cocktail dress. If this dress will be short or long is up to you but keep in mind that a cocktail dress is always less formal than an evening gown. The color of the dress can be adjusted to the season. The darker the color of your dress the more formal it looks. You can have a little cleavage, this is extra flattering for your body shape when you happen to have a bigger bust. Dressing for your body shape is a must if you want to look gorgeous on your black tie party.
  • As accessories you can wear long gloves but this is not required. Take a small evening bag that matches in color with your gown (the smaller the more formal it looks) and a stole if it's cold. a jacket over your evening gown is not done.
  • Go for high heels in a color that matches with your gown and take shoes with a low sole. Open shoes are the most tasteful when wearing a formal gown. If you wear stockings, don't forget to take an extra pair just in case. Nothing can do more injustice to your chic outfit than a panty with holes in it!
  • Wear tasteful jewelry that goes with your outfit. Don't choose for too fake looking jewels. If you choose to wear a necklace do not also wear big earrings but go for smaller ones or don't wear earrings at all. Make sure that the necklace doesn't compete with the neckline of your gown. Wearing a watch is not allowed at a black tie event cause you don't need to look at the time when you're attending this party, this is being considered as impolite. You can wear your bracelets over your gloves but never wear rings over them.
  • Put some effort in your hair and makeup. You can make an appointment with a professional hairdresser for a glamorous updo. We have shown you that deciding what is black tie is really easy! Just apply these simple tips on what is black tie and you're good to go!

Some fabulous examples of black tie outfits

For a more formal event a long dress is the perfect black tie outfit. Wear a long figure flattering evening gown like Jessica Pare does and combine it with fancy accessories for a stunning look.

  • Clutch: Bagboy
  • Shoes: Jimmy Choo
  • Bracelet: Stephany Browne
  • Earrings: Ramses

Emmy Rossum knows what is black tie! Here she wears a stunning blue cocktail gown. Cocktail gowns are great for most black tie parties. Make sure that you choose for a dressy fabric and a figure flattering model and combine it with some beautiful accessories.

  • Clutch: Diane von Furstenberg
  • Bracelet: Jean Dousset
  • Earrings: Sapphire Jewelry
  • Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Relevant tips and ideas on what is black tie:

  • If you want to look fabulous but you're on a tight budget you can consider to rent a gown.
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  • Wonder what to wear to a party? Just return to howtodressforaparty.com and check out our newest updates, pictures and information about your next party look!