The appearance of Black Tie on an invitation can stir up feelings of panic even in the most fashionable of fashionistas. While men can get away with donning a tuxedo, the mysterious cypher of “business casual”, “creative black tie” or “eveningwear” scribbled in tiny italics somewhere on the page doesn’t shed any light on what attire is de rigueur.
Tradition dictates that the proper dress code for black tie, the most exclusive events of the season that start after 6 p.m., is a floor-length gown but, in this day and age, cocktail dresses are also acceptable, as long as the hemlines aren’t too short and the colours are rich. Black, shimmering metals and deep jewel tones are ideals because they convey an aura of sophistication that never veers into over casual territory.
If you’re still struggling to put together the perfect outfit for a black tie event, check out my favourite ideas and styles below:
1. Sheer Black
If a floor-length black gown is too formal for you, opt for a little lace number. The sheerness of the fabric adds a feminine and playful touch to the look while the black hue keeps up the sophisticated vibe.
2. Black Swan
Channel the Black Swan vibe with a black tulle skirt that beautifully swirls on the ballroom floor. Complete the outfit with a matching lace top and a comfortable pair of glittering heels. It’s the perfect ensamble for dancing the night away.
3. Take The Plunge
Plunging necklines and under-the-knee length skirts are usually off the table at the most formal of black tie events. But if the invitation says “creative” or “casual”, either are perfectly acceptable. Why not go for both? Don’t forget to add a belt to cinch in the waist and create a slimmer silhouette.
4. Double Skirt
Why break the rules when you can bend them? This sleek blue number features a split on the side that reveals the sexy mini skirt underneath. Pair with a statement clutch for a more playful vibe.
5. Classic Elegance
You can never go wrong with a full-length gown in a rich blue hue. This one-shoulder silhouette is simple, sophisticated and makes you look like a Grecian goddess who has deigned to make an appearance among mortals.