Q:

What does "black tie optional" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

On an invitation, "black tie optional" means that men at the party may wear black tuxedos but are not required to. However, in many less formal settings, "black tie optional" is used as a shorthand way of suggesting guests dress in a "business casual" fashion.

Know More

Full Answer

In formal settings, "black tie" means wearing full black tuxedos for men and formal dresses for women. Many high-class parties require or strongly recommend this attire. When a party is designated as "black tie optional," less formal attire is also acceptable, although it should still be quite elegant. For example, a full black suit with a matching tie and shoes is also acceptable; a tuxedo that is not black is also appropriate.

Other parties are "black tie creative," which invites a bit more flexibility within a formal dress code. Often, this means wearing a traditional black tuxedo but swapping out portions of the outfit. For example, a black tuxedo with a black dress shirt is a creative form of black tie attire.

The term "black tie" is sometimes used more informally to suggest that guests dress nicely without necessarily requiring tuxedos. For example, inviting guests to a black tie birthday party tells them they should get at least a little dressed up.

Learn more about Dress Codes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What should women wear to a black tie event?

    A:

    It's customary for women to wear floor-length formal gowns to black-tie events, but modern style has evolved to offer other options. Since a black-tie invite can signal several levels of required dress, the best way to determine women's dress requirements is to ask the host or hostess.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is formal dress for men?

    A:

    For decades, formal dress for men has meant "black tie." This term refers to wearing a tuxedo, which is usually a black jacket, black pants, white shirt and black bow tie.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is festive attire for men?

    A:

    For men, festive attire generally means an outfit that conveys holiday spirit, such as with holiday-colored stripes or a green sweater, while maintaining a sophisticated appearance. With festive attire, men should opt for a generally classic appearance with a fun element, such as a classic suit with a fun tie.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an upscale casual dress code?

    A:

    Upscale casual is a semi-formal look, mixing upscale pieces with comfortable, more casual pieces, such as jeans with a V-neck shirt and blazer for men or skinny-leg khakis, heels and a nice blouse for ladies. Upscale casual requires avoiding certain articles of clothing as much as it incorporates others.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore