Whether you like it or not, at some point in your life you will be summoned to a black tie event. These events are typically formal on the surface of things, but like a budding flower, they slowly unfurl into good times over the course of the night (because alcohol is almost always involved). What the black tie also represents is an unspoken fashion contest where all the judgment takes place in people’s heads. Hence, no awards will be handed out, but rest assured there are others–most of them of the female persuasion–discreetly eyeing you head to toe and determining whether you aptly and ably rocked the black tie look to satisfactory results. Should you win the contest you didn’t know you were participating in, those same judges might even approach you and offer you a reward dependent on the amount of alcohol they’ve been consuming. Like we said: good times.
Of course you won’t stand a chance if you don’t go a little beyond the basics. And don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve got the black tie thing down pat because of that one default suit you own for special occasions. There is an art-form to rocking the black tie properly and the more personality you can squeeze in, the more others will take notice. In other words, don’t fixate on one kind of tie or material–classic silk, charming knit or classy velvet are just some of the ways to add a little life and a little you to these timeless pieces. Furthermore, don’t get hung up on the word “black” when “dark blue” will also suffice and even help distinguish you from the pack. Check out the infographic below for a comprehensive breakdown of the black tie.
As the above chart shows, the black tie outfit represents a chance to get creative in spite of its uniform vibe. Sure, you can simply go to the nearest department store or tailor and leave it in their hands before the next wedding. Or you can use the above chart as your guide, play a little mix and match, and be the one dude at the wedding who did his homework. And remember, at first it might seem like others don’t notice you went the extra mile, but once the alcohol starts to flow is when the results of the unspoken fashion contest are tallied and rewards are handed out. Good luck.