When it comes to most events, guys always have it easy – they just put on pants and shirt and go! Women, on the other hand, have a lot more to think about, especially when it comes to black tie events. If you’ve got an invitation that says ‘black tie’ next to ‘dress code’, we’re here to help you decode just what that means!
Here’s your GLAMOUR guide to black tie events!
Pay attention to the invitation
It holds the first clues to how formal you’ll need to get. Evening events are generally fancier than those held during the day and events on a Saturday are usually more formal than those that take place on week nights. Oh, and the word ‘strictly’ right before the dress code is a strong indicator that you’ll need to dress up.
LBD or gown?
If the event has more of a party atmosphere (a cocktail party, wedding or engagement party, for example), you can get away with wearing your most sophisticated little black dress. If the event is in the evening, especially if it’s a fundraiser, benefit or dinner hosted by an important person, then go for a floor length gown. If you’re buying one for the occasion, go for a classic dress with a simple silhouette that you can wear to other occasions in the future, dressed up with different accessories.
Keep it simple
Keep your makeup as natural as possible – your foundation or BB cream with some mascara and red or natural lipstick should be all you need. Your jewellery should be simple too: chandelier earrings or a pearl-necklace-and-studs combination are good options. Your shoes should complement your dress, but black strappy heels are ideal to complete a sleek look.
Stock your bag up with the essentials
A simple clutch bag or small top-handle bag is ideal for black tie events. Keep in mind that you may have to carry it around with you in hand and your glass of champagne in the other when you’re not seated and mingling with the other guests! To make it through the night in style, make sure that your bag holds your phone (with a fully charged battery and the number of a reliable cab company or the Uber app installed), lipgloss, mints and tissues or wet wipes.
To match or not to match?
It might seem old fashioned but matching with your date is an absolute DO for black tie events! We’re not talking an over the top, Britney-and-Justin-matching: he’ll most likely be wearing a tuxedo with a black bow tie or tie, so if you’re wearing black too, all that’s left to do is to include complementary textures in your accessories and his tie or pocket square. If you’re wearing another colour, or if his look involves another dark colour, you can get creative.