Harpers Bazaar: WHAT “BLACK TIE” MEANS NOW
I. WHITE TIE
“I’m so fancy.”
Ladies: Bring out your best full length ball gown and jewels. This is as formal as you’re going to get with dress code. Long white gloves are optional, and décolletage or strapless acceptable. Make sure to get ready to this song.
Gentlemen: Black dress coat (tail coat) and matching trousers, wing-collared shirt with shirt studs and cufflinks, white piqué waistcoast and white bow tie, black patent-leather or calfskin evening pumps and black silk socks.
II. BLACK TIE
“Bond, James Bond.”
If an invitation states black tie, abide by the rules below:
Ladies: A night for you to look your most gorgeous! Embrace it and have fun. Wear a long formal gown (if you have the opportunity to wear one, my attitude is WHY NOT?) or a shorter fancy cocktail dress that is black tie appropriate. Colors to keep in mind for winter: jewel tones, emerald, ruby, amethyst and, of course, black. Bring out your best jewels and high heels and jazz it up!
Gentlemen: There’s really nothing as sophisticated as a man in classic black tie. He should wear a dinner jacket (also known as a tuxedo jacket) and matching trousers, bow tie, and cummerbund or waistcoast, and black patent-leather or calfskin pumps or laced oxfords.