Black Tie Formal Wear

Black Tie Dress Code

Black Tie attire is also known as tuxedo by the American’s. The French call it Cravate noir. This is a semi-formal dress code for the evening events and social functions which is derived from American and British costume conventions of the 19th century. It used  to be worn for events after 7 pm.


A black bow tie and a white dress shirt.

An evening waist coat or cummerbund and a dinner jacket.

A black shoe (oxford shoe).



Evening shoes, ballgown, evening gown or cocktail dress. The dress maybe moderately short or maybe long and must not always be black. Smart jump suit may also be worn for the occasion.



A typical black tie jacket is a single-breast with one button only which is black. Traditionally, wool or wool-polyester blend was used for the dinner jacket. Double breasted model is common in some events but also considered equally appropriate.


The lapel is faced with silk in either satin weave or gross grain. The buttons should be covered with colored material to the main part of the jacket.

Black Bow Tie

The only appropriate bow tie should be black. That is a self-tie and should always match the lapel facing of the dinner jacket and branding of the trouser seams.


Traditionally the black-tie trousers have no belt loops. The material on the lapel facing on the jacket is used to decorate the outer seam of the trouser with a single braid. Suspenders (braces) are used to support the pants, hidden by the waistcoat. The evening trouser can be pleated.


Never wear belts with black tie trouser.

Waist Covering

Waist coat

A waist coat plays an important part role in black tie event. It should be worn with a single-breasted coat. The waist coat conceals or covers the workings on the waist band and the shirt bosom’s button edge.

The waist coat comes in either “u” or “v” shaped, with or without lapel, backless or fully backed version. Double or single breasted with or without lapel.

Never wear a waist coat with a double-breasted jacket. Reason being the jacket is never unbuttoned for the waist of the trouser is never exposed.


A cummerbund maybe worn with a dinner jacket instead of the waist coat. The material on the lapel of the jacket which is silk satin should be the material for the cummerbund and also for the bow tie. The folds should be made facing upwards. Traditionally, the folds were used to store theater or opera tickets.


Cummerbund are never worn with double breasted jacket. As the bow tie is black, the cummerbund should always be black and not colors worn by the members of the wedding parties.


A black tie is designed to be worn with a white shirt. This is a formal shirt or “tuxedo shirt” in American English and in British English, it is known as “dress shirt”.


The shirt was white traditionally and had a bided front that is either pleated or Marcella with a turn down collar and double cuffs.

Foot wear

The most popular shoe is the black lace-up oxford shoe, in patent leather.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.