How to Style Your Outfit in a Black-Tie Wedding

If you are invited to a black-tie wedding, you should know that it is going to be a fancy event. It means wearing the appropriate wedding suits and look the part. While you may have a hard time putting together an attire, it is not altogether complicated. If you are a wedding guest, even though you are not the most important man at the occasion, rest assured that many people will still look at you and any pictures you are in will be posted on social media. In case you are the groom, then the stakes are high. All the more you need to choose your outfit thoroughly.

What Does Black-Tie Event Mean?

A black-tie wedding is a formal gathering that usually starts in the evening. It is more elegant than your typical business function or social gathering. A black-tie event is slightly less formal than a white tie event. Therefore, you need to wear a highly-polished suit. Aside from weddings, black-tie events can be galas, awards ceremonies, and balls.

While it requires the highest level of attire, a black-tie also represents simplicity. Your overall outfit should fit your body frame perfectly. One of the most attractive options is the black tuxedo because it has the characteristic of not getting out-of-date, which means you can wear it countless times again. But other elements make your outfit perfect for a black-tie dress code.

For Men

Men attending a black-tie wedding should complete their ensemble by wearing a plain tuxedo shirt, a bow tie, a sharp pair of dress shoes (appropriate tux shoes include patent leather loafers, dark derby shoes, or velvet loafers), and an optional cummerbund.

Dinner Jacket

When choosing a tux jacket, choose clean, smooth lines. A black dinner jacket will create a classic look. Also, the colour can work well with any skin tone. A velvet tuxedo is another excellent alternative, incorporating vintage inspiration to your black-tie outfit. When it comes to lapels, decide whether you will go for a shawl or peak lapel.

man in black suit under a wedding flower canopy image

Tux Trousers

The trousers you wear on a black-tie wedding should match your dinner jacket. But, if you are wearing a velvet jacket, then you can pair it with more subtle black trousers. One vital element in trousers is that they must be hemmed. They should not be too short or too long. Regardless of your body type, slim fit trousers are an appealing cut.

Dress Shirt

A dress shirt is another essential in black-tie wedding suits. Look for a classic dress shirt with turn-down collar and made from high-quality fabric. Keep it minimalist and not elaborate to prevent it from diverting any attention away from other elements of a black-tie outfit.

Black-Tie or Bow Tie

Traditionally, black-tie attire requires wearing a bow tie or tie. You can choose a black one or something that matches your tuxedo facing. However, do not limit yourself with this traditional style. Today, it is acceptable to wear other textures or designs, for example, a bow tie silk stripe or a paisley tie.

groom with the grooms men image


It is not necessary to wear a waistcoat or vest in your black-tie ensemble but can make a worthy addition. It is a smart item for mean, which is effective at adding appeal to your outfit. There are various styles to choose for your waistcoat. While you may go for a dark tone apart from black, but avoid going too bold.

Is a black suit for men acceptable for a black-tie wedding?

You can presume that a tuxedo is your best option regardless of whether the dress code specifies “black tie optional,” “black tie preferred,” “black tie invited,” or just “black tie.” It’s polite for guests to dress to the same level of formality as the wedding party and couple, who will be wearing their best black-tie clothes, on the big day. However, wearing a suit isn’t totally unthinkable. Men can wear a tux, but they are also very acceptable in a beautiful black, gray, or navy suit. Plan to keep your suit simple; pick a dark hue, and don a bow tie if you’re wearing one.

For Women

If you intend to wear a jumpsuit or black-tie wedding guest dress, it is advised that you accessorize your ensemble to further enhance your style. Depending on your preference, you can wear heels, peep-toe stilettos, heeled sandals, formal flats, or loafers. You can never go wrong with sparkling jewelry (such drop earrings, a statement neckline, or a crystal bracelet) and a clutch that has been beautifully decorated.


The black-tie dress code is quite simple for males, but with so many alternatives available for women, it might be challenging to determine whether the dress or outfit you adore is allowed under the black-tie dress code. 

friends celebrating newly weds image

Black-tie attire typically calls for a floor-length gown for women. A floor-length dress is the best option if you wish to wear one. You can wear any kind of evening dress, whether you like silky sheaths or structured ball gowns. Pay attention to the length of the dress and the shoes you intend to wear because the hem should just barely touch the ground. 

You can even choose a stylish cocktail dress or a tea-length dress, just make sure it ends below the knee. This style of attire is very popular for black-tie optional occasions. 

The color of the dress is also quite important to consider for a wedding. Feel free to select a dress in any color, or at least virtually any color. The conspicuous white and milk colors should be avoided. Unless the bride specifically requests otherwise, it is improper for anyone to wear white to a wedding. To prevent unintentionally appearing like the wedding party, it’s a good idea to learn the wedding colors, especially those of the bridesmaids’ outfits. Black is always a stylish choice when in doubt. 


Jumpsuits have advanced significantly in recent years and there are many variations available that are appropriate for a formal, black-tie wedding. Not all women desire to wear dresses and are not required to do so. Similar to cocktail attire, make sure the style you select feels classy enough for a formal occasion. It is however advised to avoid styles with busy patterns or vivid colors.

Hair and Make-up

You have the opportunity to go all out. Maintain attractive hairstyles like chignons, updos, or delicate cascading curls to go with your dressy clothes. Pick one feature, like your lips or eyes, to really emphasize. Try a nude lip with a smokey eye, or a red lip and dewy, accentuated cheeks.



Black tie wedding attire is no different from any other outfit in that accessories can assist finish it. For these kinds of formal events, diamonds and pearls are standard choices, but you can also go with statement jewelry to add flair to your look. 

The metals used for your watches, cufflinks, jewelry, and other accessories should coordinate with your outfit. Consider wearing a silver watch with a black pearl ring, for instance, if it is set in silver. Alternatively, you might match your rose gold clutch with your rose gold dangling earrings. To create a coordinated effect, wear just gold jewelry if your dress contains gold beading.


A classic pair of shoes is always a go-to for black tie affairs. The simple pocket squares and patent leather shoes are perfect. Pumps, heeled sandals, and chic flats are suitable choices for women’s footwear. Consider a chic velvet ballet flat or a tough leather pump to finish the look for comfort and style.

Many women will want to wear heels with their floor-length dress that is suitable for a black tie event. Consider wearing comfortable shoes first or packing some flats for dancing in your bag because a black-tie wedding, dinner, and reception will typically last a few hours.

Is a short dress for women acceptable to black-tie wedding?

You can’t go wrong wearing a long formal gown as a black-tie wedding guest. Despite this, there are other options available, especially with a contemporary black-tie dress code. Floor-length dresses are ideal for ladies, but more elegant cocktail-length (midi) dresses can still be flattering. Tea-length dresses are allowed for black-tie weddings as long as they seem elegant and end at the mid-calf or lower. Choose an elegantly embellished item and stay with darker colors.

More Dont’s:

Don’t wear casual shoes. For a black tie wedding, dress shoes are required. Although wearing shoes with a suit might be a stylish, modern look, it’s important to follow convention here.

Don’t wear casual watch. Instead of wearing the everyday casual wristwatch, it is preferable to forgo wearing one at all. Is the strap of your favorite watch made of canvas or silicone? Sorry, but it would be better if you left it at home.

Don’t skip the tie. Regardless of whether you wear a suit or a tux, do not skip the tie. Don’t forget to fasten your tie properly, whether it’s a bowtie, Windsor knot, or Pratt knot in shape, as well as button up your dress shirt completely.

Don’t wear bright colors. Darker hues are typically more formal. Black, gray, navy, and burgundy are timeless options for suits and tuxes. Jewel-toned wedding dresses are a classy option for the fall. Neutral-colored chiffon gowns are a stylish choice for summer wedding dresses.

Don’t outshine the bride or groom. No matter the dress code, the basic rule of wedding attire is to make the bride or groom the center of attention. Avoid drawing attention away from the happy couple with whatever you wear, from your color choices to your silhouettes!

Black-tie wedding suits are all about luxury and simplicity. It is important to play it right. Follow the rules of a black-tie event, and you will never go wrong.


Author bio: Helen Harry is a freelance writer and a GOT fan. Apart from writing Technologies, she likes to read & write fiction. More than anything, she loves to spend her time with her family, explaining technologies to the elders.