Thursday, 2 December 2010

Black tie

Unlike white tie, which is very strictly regulated, black-tie ensembles can display more variation. In brief, the traditional components are:

  • A jacket with ribbed silk facings (usually grosgrain) on a shawl collar or peaked lapel (while a notched lapel is a popular modern choice, it is not traditionally considered correct)
  • Trousers with a single silk or satin braid covering the outer seams
  • A low-cut waistcoat or cummerbund
  • A white dress shirt with a turn-down or wing collar collar, shirt studs (optional), and cufflinks (a marcella front is traditional, but other styles are also accepted. A black ribbed silk bow tie matching the lapel facings (self-tie bow ties are preferred but not necessary)
  • Black dress socks, usually silk or fine wool
  • Black shoes, highly polished or patent leather Oxfords, or patent leather court shoes


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