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A Guide to Black Tie and Why Dress Codes Matter

Posted Nov 9th, 2022 in All News, Fundamental Style, Personal Style, Style Knowledge

There are a variety of dress codes for men to understand depending on the occasion. In this blog, we are focusing on what black tie means and why dress codes are important.

A Simple Black Tie Dress Code for Modern Men, King & Bay Custom Clothing, Toronto, Canada

The Meaning of Black Tie

Black tie is a dress code for men that consists of the traditional tuxedo and its accompaniments which includes: a black dinner jacket, matching trousers, white formal shirt, a black bow tie or long black tie, optional black waistcoat or cummerbund, black dress socks, and formal shoes. A white dinner jacket can be substituted in hot weather. 

More About Black Tie and Dress Codes

Tuxedo Details

Dinner Jacket: The jacket is most often black, however midnight blue is also acceptable, and can either be single or double breasted with peaked lapels or a shawl collar. No vents is most formal and pockets should be jetted as opposed to having flaps. 

Trousers: Tuxedo trousers should be constructed from the same material as the dinner jacket and have no cuffs. They will have a single braid along outside seams which will match the lapel and take buttoned suspenders as opposed to a belt.

Formal Shirt: The tuxedo shirt should be white with a turndown collar and french cuffs. Front can be pleated or piqué, and traditionally the shirt has eyelets for studs.

Neckwear: A black self-tie silk bow tie which matches the lapel facings is most common, however, a long black silk tie is becoming a popular alternative. 

Footwear: The most popular shoe of choice is black patent leather oxfords.

Can Men Wear a White Bow Tie?

White bow ties are typically reserved for the highest of formal dress known as the white tie dress code. Black tie and white tie dress codes are set apart by levels of formality. A white tie dress code indicates the event must be incredibly important or that the calibre of guests are titled, royal, or have a high social standing.

Black Tie: Summer vs. Winter

In colder months, choose a black or charcoal grey overcoat to wear over your tuxedo. In the summer months, men can opt for a three-piece tuxedo which allows them to have the option of removing the jacket to cool off while still looking polished. 

Smoking Jacket

Smoking jackets are well within the confines of the black tie dress code. We highly recommend this option because it affords men the opportunity to express their personalities. At King & Bay, we design our signature smoking jacket with luxurious silk jacquard fabric. Men also have the option of further personalizing their custom King & Bay smoking jacket with a custom lining. Opting for a custom lining is a way to commemorate a special occasion such as your wedding, honour a memory, or wear your personal brand.

Why Dress Codes Matter

Prescribed attire helps to provoke a sense of occasion and helps to elevate one type of event above another. Following a dress code is an act of consideration; returning the favour by making an effort to wear the appropriate attire is paying your host a great compliment.

At King & Bay, we believe men should always look their best. Whether our clients need a look that's suitable for semi-formal or black tie, we're always here to help guide our clients and promote their personal style no matter the dress code or occasion.