This is a dress code that is mostly for evening events (Royal ball or red carpet event) and social functions like weddings.
Traditionally the black tie was only worn for events after 7 pm. The black tie attire is what is commonly referred to as a TUXEDO and it comprises of:
A dinner jacket (Tuxedo)
Black bow tie
An evening waist coat or cummerbund (optional)
White dress shirt
Patent leather dress shoes (wet look)

Black tie Attire


The jacket of the tuxedo is different from the normal suit jacket; it is usually fitted with silk facing usually satin or any other contrasting material such as grosgrain on a shawl lapel, peak lapel or notched lapel. A typical tuxedo jacket is the one button single-breasted model of black or midnight blue color.


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Shawl lapel black tux (polka dot jacket)



Peak lapel midnight-blue tux

The buttons are covered in a similarly colored material to the main part of the jacket, which is ideally either self-faced or covered with the same material as the lapels. It is customary not to take off your dinner jacket at any given time but this can be very uncomfortable especially during hot days with a black jacket and hence the white dinner jacket; which was solely made for outdoor social functions such as weddings.

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Shawl lapel white dinner jacket.

The white jacket is made of ivory in color rather than the pure white so as to not compete with the dress shirt and has self-faced  lapels that are made of the same fabric as the jacket.

White Tux (with black pants)



The only neck wear appropriate for a tuxedo is the black bow tie that is a self-tie. It can be a  bit hectic to tie and most men find it impossible to do it and so I decided to throw in a spanner to the works (check; How to tie a bow tie on my you tube channel DAPPERMAN KENYA.) on tips of how easily to tie one, thank me later.

Self-tie Bow tie


The shirts designed for the black tie attire are known as tuxedo dress shirts which are white in color, have a bibbed front that is either marcella or pleated and have a wing collar of the half-collar shape.

Bibbed front tuxedo dress shirt (half wing collar).


The most common shoes are the black lace-up oxford shoe in patent leather (often referred to as the wet look shoe). When it comes to the black tie attire the brogues are a NO-NO however one can substitute the lace up oxfords with opera pumps (court shoes) with decorated grosgrain bows.

HUGO BOSS Mellio tuxedo dress shoe (patent leather)

I bet now you have an idea of what to go for and what not the next time you have a black tie event to attend.





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