We’re not sure about you, but when we get an invitation to a “Black Tie” or “Semi-formal” function, our first thought is: Do they really mean Black Tie?
Black-tie formal wear; What it actually means: Black tie is a dress code for social functions that start after 6 p.m., and basically translates to “this party is super fancy and men should wear tuxedos – with a black tie.” Black tie is the most formal dress code you’ll probably face when to comes to weddings or galas. For women, it’s customary to wear floor-length gowns. NOTE: This is the same dress code as “Semi-Formal.” “Formal,” means White Tie and Tails.
Black Tie Optional: If you receive an invite with the term “Black Tie Optional” or “Black Tie Encouraged” it means you can opt for a suit or sport coat instead of a tuxedo, but you should still wear a tie (not necessarily black). For women, it means opting for a cocktail dress if you would like, so long as the hemline isn’t too short or the style isn’t too revealing. Essentially, ladies should choose a dress that’ll hold up alongside a room full of men in formal tuxedos, and women who potentially have chosen to wear gowns.
The best course of action when you receive such an invitation, is to reach out to the host and ask what they’re really expecting to see.
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