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The Black Tie Invite

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Understanding the jargon of black -tie invites may be one of the most important key to unlocking the how the host wants their guest to dress.

Black-tie or Black-tie required:

If the words used are “Black-tie “or “Black-tie Required”. This is a clear indication that tuxedos are expected. Wearing anything less formal would be in a bad taste.

So, if you are disinclined to wearing a tuxedo, its best to send your apologies.

Attending otherwise in any other attire, could be a massive sartorial disinterest.

Black-tie preferred or Black-tie requested:

This is an indication that the host is looking to puta formal affair, but does not wish to leave out those who may not be able to afford a tuxedo, however, is in fact expecting the majority of the quest to be in full fledged black-tie garb.

Black- tie Optional request.

The “Optional” request may leave a degree of apprehension about what is expected of them.

This the most ambivalent of all tuxedo requests. If The majority opts for a less formal option, those who opted to wear a full-fledged tuxedo, could out of place. If the majority chooses to wear full tuxedos, those who wore plain black suits may look so dowdy and classless.

So, what do you do! The operative word here is “optional”. If you enjoy dressing up in a tuxedo, then do so. Nonetheless, it would not unfashionable to wear a black suit, dress shoe and a conservative tie, if the formality level of wearing a tux is not for you or it’s not a financially viable option.

Black tie or White tie denotes more than the simple words suggests. The outfit is distinctive and the term Black-tie or White-tie, articulates, the entire accompaniment and ensemble.


1. Dinner Jacket: This can be in black or midnight blue, made of wool, single or double breasted with notch or shawl lapel.

2. Trousers: This needs to be matching with accent strip down seam matching the sheen of lapel on the jacket.

3. Shirts: White shirt with concealed buttons with double cuff and links compliments.

4. Black bow tie or the traditional long tie

5. Formal shoes in form of patent or highly polished oxford shoes and of cause with a black sock

6. Waistcoats: Needs to be a black formal waistcoat with a sheen lapel as bright as the jacket lapel.

7. Cummerbund. This best worn with a single-breasted shawl jacket.

You can draw water out of a water-well," said the Hatter; "so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle-well - eh, stupid?" Alice in Wonderland

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