When to wear black ties

Black tie attire refers to formal and elegant attire. But knowing how formal a particular event is will help you find out how formal of an attire is required.

Most Formal Attire

On the top of all formal dress code for men is the tuxedo and the bow tie. A black tuxedo jacket, matching trousers, white tuxedo dress shirt, white handkerchief, black bow tie, cufflinks, and black tuxedo shoes are the most classic for an event that calls for black tie attire.

If the event is during the summer and in warm weather, the black tuxedo jacket is often times replaced with a white jacket, and teh pocket square gets replaced with a black hankerchief.

Slightly less formal black tie attire?

Some invitations call for black tie “preferred” or black tie “optional”, which leaves a little room for interpretation. Some even call this dress code “creative black tie” attire. If this is the case, then you don’t have to stick with the traditonal black tuxedo and black bow tie principle. Be creative and express youself but make sure to stay within the certain bouderies. After all, you do not want to upset the host.

If the event is during the day, some more color is quite appropriate. Especially during summer months, bow ties and neckties in light pink, baby blue, and silver are very fashionable.


Black neckties – no exception. Most men prefer a black necktie that is not made from a smooth satin silk fabric, but made from a silk that gives off slightly less shine. A black necktie that is made from a silk fabric with a intricate ribbed or basketweave pattern are on top of the list. The less shine of the black tie give it a less formal and festive look.