Wedding Week: Breaking Down Black Tie

Here we are at the grand finale of Wedding Week. I had so much fun planning and putting this together and wanted to go out with a bang! Today’s post is super special to me because it features my husband Matt.

Matt’s made an appearance a few times on here, but we haven’t been this fancy together in a long time! So it was really fun to dress up and shoot with him for this shoot.

A lot of people get confused with black tie and black tie optional, so I’m breaking down what it means in today’s post. It’s a lot easier to dress for a black tie/black tie optional wedding than you think.

Here’s a spoiler alert: other than black tie/black tie optional indicating that it’s a formal wedding, the tricky dress code nuances really only apply to men.

Black Tie Rules for Women

For women, things are fairly simple: wear a cocktail dress or to be on the safe side, opt for a full length or tea length (mid-calf) dress. A black tie event is a formal event, so when picked out your cocktail dress, make sure it’s not too tight or revealing. You’re going to a wedding, not a nightclub in Vegas. 🙂

Black tie events in the summer can be tricky, so I like to stick with a longer length rather than a cocktail dress. To me, a longer dress by default is a bit fancier than a short one. From there, focus on finding flowy fabrics and colors to keep your look seasonally appropriate.

If you have a black tie wedding coming up, then I think it’s okay to splurge on a special piece. It might not necessarily be “your day” but it’s still okay to feel special, especially if you’re going with a significant other. After all, it’s basically just a super fancy date night with dancing!


Black Tie Rules for Men

Black tie and black tie optional are basically indicators for men if they need to wear a tuxedo or not. Here are the major differences:

  • Black tie: You must wear a tuxedo. Think of this as pretty traditional, with an all black tuxedo, a crisp white shirt, a black bow tie, and classic black patent tuxedo shoes. 
  • Black tie optional: This means that the event is still just as formal as black tie, but it gives consideration to people who don’t own a tuxedo or do not want to rent one. If you have one, wear it. If not, stick to traditional colors here with your suit: either black or gray. Then finish with a bow tie OR a black tie and black shoes.

If your significant other needs a tuxedo or a new suit, then I highly recommend The Black Tux. They’re an online brand where you can rent and/or buy their pieces for formal events. They have everything, right down to shoes and belts.

It’s a really easy process where you start by plugging in your event date, then it guides you through each piece you need to complete your look (pants, a jacket, a shirt, a pocket square, etc).

I like The Black Tux because it provides modern options, Matt liked it because he only had to check about 5 boxes to figure out what he needed.

He opted for a gray suit instead of black, but to keep it on the more formal end, he went with the bow tie. (Okay, I told him I wanted him in a bow tie. He never gets to wear one so I’ll take any excuse to have him look this cute!)

(BTW This isn’t a sponsored post, but The Black Tux did sent Matt a complimentary suit.)

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I left the corporate world of fashion and beauty to share all of my favorite things on the Internet. When I have nothing to wear my go-to outfit is jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket. My hair is usually a little messy but I love it best like that. I live in Los Angeles.

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