If you’ve been invited to a black tie wedding, lucky you! You can be assured of a top-notch evening and the chance to look fabulous. But if you’re wondering what to wear to a black tie wedding, read on.
Many people are confused when the invitation reads “black tie”. Does it call for a long Oscars-style gown? Can you wear a cocktail dress? And must whatever you wear be black?! These are just some of the questions most grapple with when a black tie invitation lands in their letterbox.
For men, getting ready for a black tie wedding is much simpler. A black tuxedo is the solution, and it’s able to be worn repeatedly, almost no matter the year – or even the decade!
But for women, choosing the perfect outfit for a black tie wedding calls for a little more know-how and some strategic shopping decisions.
Style Tip: Like Selena Gomez, colours such as burgundy and French navy should be accompanied by a slick hair do and dramatic jewels for a timeless approach.
If you’re not sure what to wear to a black tie wedding, consider the following tips:
Dress Length – While a knee-length cocktail length dress is acceptable for slightly more casual black tie events (if there is such a thing), a floor length dress is always the more elevated way to go.
Dress Colour – Any dress colour is acceptable, however black and rich tones such as navy, burgundy, metallics and grey always look classy and expensive.
It is essential to avoid wearing white altogether – while some wedding traditions have relaxed over the years, wearing white to a black tie wedding is not only out of step with dress code etiquette, it could encourage some not-too-favourable looks from the bride!
Style Tip: Make like Kate Winslet and team a figure-enhancing french navy gown with chic black accessories. (And who ever said black and navy don’t go together!)
Style of Dress – Attending a black tie wedding calls for an outfit that is elegant and refined. For these occasions, we leave the overly trendy and body-flaunting looks to the side.
Instead, achieve an attractive feminine look with cuts that enhance the body without showing too much skin. Always choose quality fabrics which skim the body rather than cling.
In terms of choosing a shape or cut, we believe that anything off-the-shoulder is bound to come across as elegant and timeless, and for the more adventurous black tie guest, a very dressy jumpsuit can work in certain circumstances.
Style Tip: Nothing says “timeless elegance” quite like an LBD. Beyonce styles her perfect LBD the right way with jewelled heels and glamourous jewellery.
Occasion – Within the realm of “black tie wedding” there are various levels of dressiness depending on the venue and whatever the bride and groom have stipulated.
For true gala-style black tie weddings, think Oscars-worthy gowns, with elaborate full skirts and structured designs. For any other type of black tie wedding, a simple floor length dress or midi-length skirt is completely appropriate.
But whatever you choose to wear, just remember that a relatively timeless and classic outfit that flatters your figure – without overt flaunting, is the best way to go.
Black Tie Dress Code Checklist:
Keep the silhouette simple and classic for a sophisticated look that you’ll never regret.
Aim to buy a high-quality outfit made from quality fabric that sits well on the body.
A floor-length dress or gown is ideal, and a formal cocktail dress is acceptable.
Dark and rich colours, jewel tones and some metallics are great for black tie events.
Opt for a timeless aesthetic over anything too trendy or risky.
Accessorise with strappy high heels, elegant jewellery, and a classy clutch bag.
Take inspiration on what to wear to a black tie wedding from the shopping suggestions below: