Black tie events can be elegant occasions for showing off your best outfits. But while the dress code is quite straightforward for men, it is more flexible, and therefore more complicated, for ladies. From dressmaking fabrics to colour choices, this is a guide to help you make the most of this opportunity to look your fanciest!
1. The Basics
Unlike for white tie events, which are even more formal and very uncommon in the modern world, it is not usually necessary to wear a full length dress to a black tie event. Unless you judge the particular event to be especially formal, a mid-length cocktail dress is usually appropriate. As this guide states, however, you still want to show caution, as a dress which is too short may be considered inappropriately risqué for such a formal event.
2. Colour Choice
Many women opt to wear a black dress to black tie events, but this is not a strict requirement! The author of this piece in the Telegraph talks about wearing a hot pink dress to a black tie event. She was the only woman not wearing black – what a great chance to stand out! Soft colours such as pastels are a gentle way to add some distinction, and there’s also the option of something bolder if you feel like being the centre of attention!
3. Fabrics for your dress
If you choose to make your own dress, or have a dressmaker create something unique for you, or even if you’re buying your dress from a shop and want to make sure every detail is just right, it’s worth thinking carefully about what fabric you want your black tie dress to be made in. This guide gives many considerations you might make when choosing a fabric for a dress. For example, cotton or silk broadcloth can give your dress a structured look, evoking a ’50s cocktail dress style. Wool can also be a great, often overlooked option for a cosy and warm dress with plenty of style and sophistication. Wool is making a comeback and could be a great choice to show that you not only ooze elegance, but you are also up to date with the latest fashion!
Whatever you decide to wear, it can be a lot of fun picking just the right fabric, colour, and other aspects of your outfit for the occasion – as much fun as the event itself!