Getting an invitation to attend a formal event is always thrilling; however, almost immediately after accepting the invitation, the anxiety of what to wear arises. Before you decide what to wear for the event, one of the first unspoken rules is to decode the invitation to determine the appropriate dress code. There are various ways to receive a formal event invitation, whether it’s a casual card invitation, formal announcement, or a “plus one” invitation.
If you are ever unsure of the dress code for a particular event, do not be afraid to ask, this could save you the embarrassment on the day; it is your duty to come prepared. If for some reason you cannot get a proper answer, or when in doubt, wear a versatile attire, one that is easy to dress up or down. Some event’s dress code is straightforward.
When your host mentions the dress code as Le Smoking, Full Dress, Black Tie Preferred, or Black Tie for their event, then elegant is the appropriate look. Here are tips to help you dress well for a formal occasion, whether you are purchasing a new tuxedo or renting a set.
In modern times, the vintage tailcoat has become less favorable and gaining traction as the standard in black tie events is a short evening jacket. It has an upward sweeping peaked lapel and should be single-breasted. A shawl collar does not accentuate shoulders, unlike peaked lapels; although it’s acceptable, it’s rarely recommended. Unlike the rest of the suit material, the showing material of the lapel is silkier and glossy, making it the focal point.
There are two primary choices of evening jackets, single-breasted and double-breasted. The single breast jacket is favored for comfort and openness, whereas the double-breasted jacket gives the wearer the freedom to not wear a cummerbund belt when buttoned.
Black trousers are essential for a black-tie event, with piping running down the side of the pants. Made with fine material, the piping is cut from satin, grosgrain, or silk material. Whatever material is used for piping, it has to be the same as the lapel facing. For black-tie events, the bottom of the pants a seldom cuffed.
Cummerbund or Waistcoat
A low waistcoat or cummerbund plays a concealing role; while giving a slim fit appearal, it covers the touser’s waistband. Where suspenders tuck in the pants, both the waistband and the bottom of the shirt need concealing. However, a waistcoat or cummerbund is not to be used to hide a belt.
A Dress Shirt
In any formal attire, a shirt forms the base of the outfit. There are various types of shirts, the material used and design usually separate them. Unlike other shirts, a tuxedo shirt is manufactured in pique cotton, with a turndown collar design, a pleat pattern, and fitted with black buttons.
Classic Bow Tie
Nothing screams class like an adequately made bow tie, with two variations. The most common modern bow tie is the self-tie “butterfly” bow. The “bat-wing” bow is the other option, considered an old American vintage accessory, is the other option in formal attire. Knowing how to make a bow tie takes some learning, and an improperly made bow-tire is easily noticed.
Black Tie Optional
Over the last few decades, black tie dress codes have relaxed, and as a result, black tie optional has become more popular. Where a formal black-tie event requires either a dark suit or a tuxedo, it may be appropriate to pull out that old dark blazer. A black-tie optional event offers to include people rather than excluding them from strict tuxedo events.
Being invited to an optional black-tie event means you have the option to wear both a sild dark suit or go all out on a tuxedo attire. However, it may not be necessary to break your budget in such a case by hiring a tuxedo, wear what you have or fits best.
Regardless of the event, your shoes are the cherry on top when invited to a formal event and should be shined to the sole. A wedding, for example, black wedding shoes for men should be light and comfortable, to stand and dance with ease during the festivities. Although formal black tie events come far and few in between, owning a good pair of proper shoes in your closet comes much in handy, and this may be cost-effective when you at least more than one of these events a year.