Black-Tie Dress Etiquette

So this category of fashion has confused many of us for years. Most of us know it is the most formal of dress codes however there are a few myths surrounding this style of fashion that can make the rules a little hazy for those not in the know. Quite often when we are listing a dressy black cocktail dress on The Volte, it’s natural to question whether to also categorise it as a black-tie style. The Volte team have come together to make our own mix of traditional and modern guidelines for what Black Tie dress code means to us…

BLACK TIE MEANS YOU HAVE TO WEAR BLACK

WRONG (for the girls).
So where does the “black” in black-tie come from? We can blame the gents for the misleading title. There’s really nothing as sophisticated as a man in classic black tie. When invited to such an event, he should wear a dinner jacket (also known as a tuxedo jacket) and matching trousers with a bow tie. The fellas are usually best dressed in their black attire. Us ladies however aren’t pigeon-holed into any particular colour category so you can get as creative or as simple as you like with your colour of choice.

FLOOR LENGTH GOWNS ARE THE MOST APPROPRIATE

TRUE (95% of the time).
This is a night for you to look your most gorgeous so embrace the long dress and have fun. Wear a long formal gown that makes you feel Oscar Worthy. If you have the opportunity to wear one, my attitude is why not? It doesn’t happen often so enjoy this opportunity to feel like a red carpet Hollywood A-lister.

COCKTAIL DRESSES CAN SOMETIMES CROSS OVER TO BLACK-TIE

TRUE (on the rare occasion).
There is the odd occasion when a midi cocktail dress is formal and stunning enough that it can cross over into a black-tie category but our advice is that unless you feel your most glamorous standing in that cocktail dress next to Amal Clooney on the Oscars red carpet, best to stick with the floor lengthed number to be safe.

JUMPSUITS DON’T FIT INTO THE BLACK TIE DRESS CODE

FALSE (within reason).
This is a modern take on black-tie that would have once been unacceptable years ago but in recent times we have had some well respected celebs rocking uber glamorous pants on the red carpet at the Oscars which has lead us to be a little more lenient with this one. Just any old jumpsuit won’t suffice as black-tie worthy just so we’re clear. It has to rival its floor length cousins to ensure it fits in with the glamour it’s surrounded by.

IT’S INAPPROPRIATE TO SHOW OFF SOME SEXY SKIN

FALSE (as long as you keep it classy).
Receiving a black-tie invite does not mean that you have to completely cover up however we recommend if you are going down the path of exposing some skin, pick one part of your body to feature. If you are featuring a super high split that shows off your leg then perhaps think of a long sleeve number. If you are wearing an off the shoulder gown showcasing your chest perhaps lose the split or if your dress has a very exposed low back then maybe a high neck halter is the way to go. The idea is to still keep your over all look classy and red carpet worthy.

BLACK TIE IS SO OLD FASHIONED, WEAR WHAT YOU WANT

FALSE ( a hard false).
The black-tie dress code was made popular by the New York social elite in the late 1800s and into the 1930s. It has always shone loud and proud on our television screens come Oscar time but it used to be saved for the lucky few who attended a rare ball event. Nowadays it isn’t uncommon to receive a black-tie wedding invitation or to find yourself at a Gala charity ball throughout the year, not to mention the school ball season also falling under the black-tie category. We are firm believers that its old fashioned roots is what makes black-tie so special! A chance for us girls to have our Cinderella moment and dress up to the nines. So when considering ditching the black-tie dress code to just wear what you want, keep in mid the host or organiser who has spent months (sometimes years) of time and effort putting together this event. They set a dress code for a reason and out of respect to them, it is always a good idea to deliver on the fashion that they believe best represents the event. Just remember what Oscar Wilde said…

“You can never be too overdressed or overeducated…”

SHOP BLACK-TIE GOWNS FOR HIRE NOW WITH THE VOLTE

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