Men’s Fashion: Black Tie Tips To Live By
A black-tie event is the snazziest type on the planet. It’s your chance to shine as a debonair gentleman and live out your international man of mystery fantasies. It is also something that might strike terror into the heart of those unprepared.
The good news is that it is actually pretty simple. Men’s evening wear has not changed too much over the years and, as long as you understand the basics, you should be fine. And do take time to learn the basics or you could stick out like a sore thumb.
Getting it Right
Every man should own a well-made dinner jacket that fits them perfectly. You might not use it often, but if you chose quality, it would last a long time.
The small details really make a difference – The material used to face the lapels, for example, should always match the trousers’ braiding. To complete the look, it should also be used on the button.
The fabric for the suit itself bears some consideration. Traditionally a soft woolen fabric is used. Lately, suits are being made from a blend of mohair and wool. This helps give the suit a subtle shimmer.
If wool would be too hot, a silk suit or silk and wool blend is a good substitute. It is cooler and not quite as in your face as satin would be.
You want a jacket that has a clean and sleek silhouette. This usually means keeping vents, if necessary at all to the side of the jackets.
Getting the Lapel Right
The peak lapel is ideal. Some men can pull off the shawl lapel, but it can be difficult to do this. Never wear a notch lapel to a black-tie event – it will show immediately that you don’t know what you are doing.
What Shirt to Wear?
You need a turndown collar. Nothing else will suffice. The front of the shirt or the bib section should have a textured fabric so that it looks like diamonds or has sharp pleats. No ruffles though!
An elegant dress shirt should have a layer of fabric that covers the buttons and consider getting a nice double-cuff and an elegant pair of cufflinks to wear with it.
You Must Tie Your Bow Tie
A clip-on is not going to cut it here at all. If you don’t know how to tie a bow tie, check on YouTube, there are a number of videos that you can see there.
You have a little freedom where it comes to the tie – you could choose something that would match the suit’s facing or go for something with a different texture. Stick to black, through and steer clear of prints.
What are the Trouser Rules?
These can be hemmed simply but should never be turned up. Pleated or flat is equally acceptable. For black tie, the braid should be single, and the side pocket should line up with the braid. Also, forget about belt loops.
For the Finish
An elegant watch is the perfect accessory.
There you have it, a quick breakdown of the basic rules when it comes to black tie for men. Once you get it right, you have it right for life.