Black Tie Dress Code For Women
Black Tie Dress Code is traditionally stated for
that commence after six o’clock in the evening, or after sundown in the winter months. It is generally worn to private and public dinners, dances and parties.
White Tie dress code is more formal than Black Tie attire, and whilst it was once standard dress for formal occasions, it has now been more or less replaced by the Black Tie dress code.
Both attires are formal; the clothes that we wear have an impact on
and set the tone of the event and formal attire elevates proceedings.
which stipulates Black Tie Dress Code can be a little confusing for women; many believe that a full length gown is required, but this is not necessarily the case.
You will need to make a judgement depending on the formality of the invitation, the host, the location and the time of the event.
If you are invited to a drinks party with a Black Tie dress code between the hours of six and eight pm, then you should opt for
but ensure the length of the dress only creeps up to just above the knee, and stockings should be worn.
You may consider wearing separates if they are matching and are as elegant as a dress e.g. a silk organza blouse with a full satin skirt that hits at your ankles, but avoid wearing trousers when Black Tie dress code has been stated.
If the drinks reception is followed by
and dancing at a lavish location then you can consider a full length dress or ball gown, but this is not mandatory for events that state Black Tie dress code.
The only occasion where a full length dress and possibly
are a must is when White Tie has been stipulated.
But, as white tie invites are few and far between, then my advice would be to judge the formality of the Black Tie dress code and then go for it, as long as you are confident of not feeling over-dressed. If you are in any doubt, ask the host. At every event you should also ensure you are
Also consider colours other than black that complement your complexion, for example, crisp pastels, silver, gold and deep reds and plums.
If you are
hosting an event
then it is good hostess etiquette to make it absolutely clear on the invite what is expected within the parameters of the Black Tie dress code. A few short lines to dispel any confusion could be “Saturday night is Black Tie but palazzo pants will be fine”.
If you do arrive at an event and feel that you have not correctly interpreted the dress code then my advice would be to use self-confidence, splattered with a little self-deprecating humour to get you through the evening. A big smile,
and no-one will notice your minor faux pas.
Finally, do not forget to
in a timely manner, and send a
thank you note
within twenty four hours of the event.
Black Tie Optional Dress Code
These types of invites can be rather confusing for both men and women.
It’s a double edged sword really, what the host is saying is “I would really like you to make the effort but if you don’t you are still welcome to come!”
Often the Black Tie Optional dress code is stated if there are a number of guests who do not own or have access to Black Tie attire. The host may not want those to feel awkward, or even decline the invitation because of this.
However, this type of invite doesn’t mean that you can wear what you like! Wearing casual or informal wear would be considered an insult to the host.
Black Tie Optional dress code doesn't really affect us ladies, as we have the choice of a wearing a cocktail dress to most Black Tie events. However, it is still a formal occasion and you should ensure your hemline is not too short and the dress is not too risqué.
Have you ever worn something a little avant-garde to a black tie event? Please share your experience, and photos, with us by clicking here
Your partner should make every attempt to wear Black Tie, but failing this a dark lounge suit with buttoned collar and tie is acceptable. Again, do try and complement each other, so if your partner is opting for a lounge suit then you should return your full length gown to it's resting place.
The most important etiquette to remember for this dress code is that Black Tie IS optional. That means those who have chosen to wear their Tuxedos should not be looking down their noses at those that have selected a dark lounge suit instead.
How to Accessorize for a Black Tie Event
1. You will need a small evening bag that matches your outfit in the same fabric, colour or trim. Alternatively you can opt for a crystal bag which will complement any outfit.
2. If wearing a lightweight satin or silk ensemble then opt for strappy sandals, if your outfit is of a heavier material then choose velvet or coloured satin court shoes.
3. Choose for a few good quality pieces of jewellery, rather than adorning yourself with jewels and risking replicating a Christmas Tree:
A short sleeved dress works well with a charm bracelet and a wide gold/jewelled bangle complements a strapless dress.
Pearl earrings look good with beaded dresses, diamonds/zirconia complement metallic and rhinestone-studded outfits.
4. Check that your underwear is not visible through your dress. "If in doubt, go without" is my mantra. I favour fitted dresses with clean lines; a VPL will instantly ruin the contours of many dresses so I often wear body supporting natural tights which ensure my curves are accentuated with no unsightly bulges.
Hair and Make-Up for a Black Tie Event
1. Arrange a manicure before the event, along with a pedicure if you are wearing open-toe sandals.
2. Traditionalists would advise to match your lip and nail colour but I think that can look a little dated.
3. Ensure you pronounce either your lips or your eyes, not the two together, as you may appear overly made up.
4. Again tradition would advise you to wear your
but I think this depends on how comfortable you are. Personally I prefer my hair down so I would favour a professional blow dry instead. Ultimately you need to feel comfortable with how you look.
Your Black Tie Outfits
Share your Black Tie Dress Tips and Photos. Decided to wear something a little different? Let us know how it was received and share your pictures with us!
What other Ladies have worn!
Click below to see contributions from other readers to this page...
Black Tie Dress Dilemma
Ok here is the issue I am going to a charity event for a local hospital that said black tie attire. As you see by my title I don't wear dresses. What is …
Formal Awards night outfit
I am attending an awards night and the dress code is black tie. i was thinking of wearing eggplant colour skirt with golden strips, an eggplant colour …
My boyfriend and I have been invited to attend a Charity Ball through our work and the attire is a "Black Tie Event" (which we have never attended before). …
I am attending a Sorority Ball. I have a black and white polk-a-dot taffeta skirt and a vintage black lace top that you belt. I really want to wear something …
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