Frustratingly a black-tie dress code isn’t as simple as simply wearing a black tie and despite its popularity, many people still get it completely wrong. With Christmas party season fast approaching and the likelihood of you receiving a black-tie invitation to your inbox, here are 8 of the most common mistakes men make so you can stay right on fashion.
- Wearing a lounge suit
Black tie isn’t black tie without a dinner suit and a black suit simply won’t cut it. A dinner jacket differs from a plain suit jacket in several ways, the most noticeable of which is it’s peaked lapels and deep V cut. In a regular suit, you will look like you are at a funeral in mourning or late for the office.
- Wearing black
Believe it or not, the correct and traditional color for black-tie is actually midnight blue which appears blacker than black under artificial lighting. Black is now more acceptable, but if you want to do it properly, opt for midnight blue.
- Not using a hand tie bowtie
Clip-on or elasticated ties are a no-no so it’s time to learn how to tie a bowtie. There are plenty of online tutorials to help you and this simple step can really take your outfit from good, to perfect.
- Wearing a white tie
Even if you opt to take the very bold move and wear a white dinner jacket the white tie is exclusively reserved for white tie events, so don’t be tempted to wear white on white. If you are taking the white dinner jacket route then add some contrast with black lapels and ensure to always wear black trousers.
- Skipping the dress shirt
If you’re going to go to all the trouble of wearing a dinner suit then don’t ruin it by skipping the dress shirt. A dress shirt has lapels and detail to compliment the deep V of your dinner jacket and holes for cufflinks which are an important accessory.
- Not wearing a cummerbund
A cummerbund is designed to ensure that there are no white gaps between your trousers and the V of your dinner jacket and it really makes a look. If you aren’t going to go with a cummerbund then consider wearing a waistcoat to the same effect.
- Wearing short socks
Sitting down and showing leg is not very black tie, so ensure to wear a nicely long pair of socks that stay up around the calves when you sit down. Don’t be tempted to wear a bright, colorful pair of socks unless you want to stand out from the crowd or be the party clown.
- Wearing brogues
Shoes can make or break an outfit and with black tie, classic is best. Brogues are too casual, so stick to polished Oxfords at the very least or patent leather shoes for a more authentic look. Velvet slippers used to be reserved for in-house events but they actually come across as one of the more formal footwear choices and so are becoming more acceptable, even if they are a little impractical.