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
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
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >