Always wear an evening shirt with a dinner suit. Dress shirts are designed with traditional waffle pleats and double cuffs. Evening shirts traditionally have winged collars but they are also available with Windsor collars and semi-cutaway collars. If you are wearing a cummerbund, choose an evening shirt with coordinating black buttons and if you’re wearing a waistcoat, white buttons are sufficient.
A cummerbund is a piece of material that is worn around your waist. It is worn with an evening suit and is traditionally made from silk. It’s not an obligatory accessory, but it does show you respect the dress code and have done your research. To wear one, simply place it around the lower half of your waist and fasten it securely at the back. If your bow tie is a colour other than black, your cummerbund should match.
Black tie attire requires a bow tie. Black bow ties are the obvious choice but you can diversify your look by experimenting with different colours, textures or patterns. Bow ties always look better when they are hand-tied and at the end of the evening, it’s typical practice to untie it. Allow yourself an extra half hour to perfect the bow – here’s how to tie one… There are also plenty of self-tied options available which are also acceptable.
Don’t wear your everyday formal shoes to a black tie event. A special occasion calls for sophisticated black patent shoes. Velvet slippers are also acceptable, but they must be black. Always wear black socks with an evening suit.
If you’re not wearing a cummerbund, a waistcoat is a suave addition to a black tie ensemble. Keep it simple and sophisticated and match your waistcoat to your evening jacket.
Complete your look with classic accessories. Keep your cufflinks and pocket square simple. Silver or gold cufflinks are appropriate. Pocket squares are optional but if decide to wear one, opt for white silk. A silk evening scarf will add the final touch to your black tie attire at winter occasions.