The black-tie optional dress code is worn to weddings, formal events, award ceremonies, etc. These events take place in the evenings and are similar to standard black-tie events.
This dress code was created to accommodate guests who don’t own tuxedos and black bow ties. However, wearing a tuxedo is perfectly acceptable if not encouraged.
Suit or Tuxedo
If you decide to wear a suit to a black-tie optional event, it must be a dark color. Your black, navy, or charcoal grey suit will suffice.
However, nothing beats donning the iconic tuxedo. The standard black tie rules apply when you wear a tuxedo to these events.
Dress Shirt or Tuxedo Shirt
The choice fundamentally depends on whether you decide to show up in a suit or a tuxedo. So, you can match your suit with a dress shirt and a tuxedo exclusively with a tuxedo shirt.
Either way, the best shirt color you can select is white.
Neckties or Bow Ties
A black necktie or a bow tie is appropriate for black-tie optional events.
If you decide to go with a necktie, ensure your tie is suited for the occasion. Skinny ties are for less formal events. Narrow or new standard ties are the best choice and have the perfect widths.
The traditional tie and the kipper tie knots are too broad and will not give you that polished look. The Windsor, half-Windsor, and Pratt knot are perfect for formal events.
If the event is someone else’s wedding, a tie is more appropriate to wear than a bow tie. Bow ties are often worn as a signature feature of the groom and his groomsmen’s ensembles.
Wearing a pocket square will help personalize your look. Solid-colored pocket squares in red, plum, blue, black, or white are good choices. Cufflinks are also a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your outfit.
For these events, you should wear cufflinks that have a simple geometric design. Gold, silver, onyx, and mother-of-pearl are all appropriate choices.
Pair your cufflinks with a matching watch. Choose a watch with a black leather strap with gold detailing on the face rather than a Chrono watch with random functionalities.
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