Dress Code Etiquette: What to Wear to a Black Tie Occasion

A flattering invitation arrives at your door, but it calls for “Black tie” attire. Will you wear a cocktail dress or a floor-length gown? Traditionally, Black tie is a dress code stated for social events that commence after six o’clock in the evening, and basically translates to “this party is fancy and women must dress in evening gowns while men should wear tuxedos.” Indeed, it’s important that you dress in an occasion-appropriate whether it will be a public dinner, dance and party, wedding, or gala.

emerald green dress red dress

Apart from white tie occasions, Black tie is the most formal attire you’ll face when comes to galas or weddings. Though it’s traditional to wear floor-length gowns, you’ll still need to make a judgment on the formality of the invitation as to this day, exceptions can be made. If you are invited to an evening party with a Black tie dress code and between the hours of six and eight o’clock, then you could wear “cocktail attire” but ensure the dress only falls just above the knee, and not too short. This also applies to “black tie optional” attire. And, if you do go this route, consider colors other than black that suits your complexion such as green, red, blue, purple, and gold so as not to look too casual.

pastel crop top and long skirt white top lace skirt

You may also consider wearing a two-piece gown if they are matching and suited for the dress code attire. A lavender top with stone embellishments is great with lavender chiffon long skirt. Also, white silk top with peplum hem blends well with off-white chiffon lace skirt.

ball gown black rose blue ball gown

However, if the formal dinner is followed by dancing at a lavish location, then consider a ball gown though it is not mandatory for an occasion that calls for Black tie attire. Since your voluminous gown is inherently dressy. You may choose a lighter shade or even neutral to balance the silhouette.

evening gloves

Remember, the only time where opera or evening gloves are needed is when the occasion calls for a White tie. So, you wouldn’t look like a celebrant or overly dressed for a Black tie affair.

black chiffon gown emerald green gown gold gown red dress white and gold dress

If you want to keep your style in a conservative manner, you may opt for a floor-length gown with more decent cuts and color. You may still reach for jewel tones like emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, amethyst and neutrals like black or white. Just opt for higher necklines, halter styles, closed neck, and even long dresses with sleeves. Just bring out your jewels and stilettos to jazz it up.

metallic silver red high slit see through gown v neck godess inspired

If you want to bare some skin, you may opt for gowns of floor length dresses in rich tones and styles such as a high slit, plunging neckline, backless, and even see through. Wearing red – an attention-stealing color to a black-tie affair is a way-too-sexy. Just keep your accessories minimal to avoid looking overdone and stay elegant and classic. In this circumstance, go for chiffon or organza gowns as silk steals too much attention.

ruffled in layers suit shaped gown

For a creative Black tie, you may go crafty by adding an element like a conversational hat or accessory that make you stand out from the crowd. Also, you may flaunt your formal gown itself through delicate fabrics or materials your gown is made of.

Whether a cocktail dress or a floor-length gown, you’ll look fabulous in your Black tie affair as long as you wear your attitude and confidence. So, fabulous and be a head turner in your affair.




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