The purpose behind a black-tie dress code is that there is a certain uniformity, with everyone looking classy and elegant. Here is how to pull of the black-tie dress code with class and style.
It obviously a no-brainer that your dinner jacket should be black or midnight blue, with the lapel being peaked or a shawl collar. It is imperative that it has a satin or grosgrain facing, with the buttons and the bowtie using the same fabric.
Personal experience has seen me favouring grosgrain, as it retains that wonderful retro aesthetic. Avoid a notched lapel, as it conjures up images of business meeting and office work; a black-tie event is to be more formal than that. Go for a peaked lapel if you have narrow shoulders, as it gives the illusion of them being broader than they actually are. But, if you have a square shaped face, or already have broad shoulders, then your best bet would be to opt for shawl collar.
While single breasted jackets mostly have one button, options with two are perfectly fine. This is the best choice for those not on the slim side, but the opposite camp can choose a double-breasted style to add some weight to their appearance.
Your trousers should definitely match your jacket, and ideally have a grosgrain stripe running down the side seam. Double stripes are considered white tie dress code, but some cheaper suits will completely disregard this information.
You should choose a pleat front shirt with a turn down collar. Double cuffs are essential, just for the ability to wear cuff-links, and you can further the appearance of elegance by choosing a shirt that uses studs in place of buttons, black onyx or white pearl being the obvious colour choices.
The Bow Tie
Make sure you pick a bow tie that requires you to tie it by yourself, and not a pre-tied option. If you find yourself having difficulty, there are plenty of online tutorial videos that will help you learn how to tie it properly.
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