'Black Tie' event - what to wear

mrs_tlcNovember 19, 2008

We have recently been invited to a "Formal Black Tie Reception" to celebrate the season with champagne & caviar. It is at the "Estate" of an acquaintance. I have never been there before but here it is quite lavish. Here's the question.....is a classic "little black dress" appropriate for me....and.....should DH wear a tux or is a black suit & tie acceptable?

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Yes, a little black dress will be just fine - wear evening accessories: fabric or metallic shoes, not leather; evening bag; jewelry. And, yes, although the hosts may be envisioning tuxedos, a black suit with a white shirt is absolutely proper when the invitation says "black tie."

Does the invitation really say "Formal Black Tie Reception"? Yeesh.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Yes, it does! Sounds a bit stuffy but they are fun people when they are out so I would think they would be at home as well.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:33PM
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The Formal Black Tie events I have been to, the ladies have been in long gowns. Special jewelry, small clutch handbags, hair and nails done, etc. The fellas have been in tuxes or very good black suits. Shiny patten leather or plain leather shoes. The word here is "Formal". It means just that. You are dressed to the nines! If the invitation just said Black Tie then the little black dress would be fine. I must say I do like getting all dolled up every once in a while. It's fun! I'm sure you will have a great time with your friends no matter what you wear. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:59AM
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For "black tie" affairs, you taylor your dress with your husband's. If he is wearinga dark suit you may wear your little black dress, you would be very out of place ina long ball gown type of dress with him in a suit,
You will be OK in the Little black dress, or in almost any other cocktail attire.
A lot depends on the area of the country you live in. In my small town it's not unusual to see a woman dressed to the nines in a chiffoney floateeyd ress with strappy sandals and "done" hair and her husband in slacks and a "nice" sweater. It's not right, but you do see it.
From what you are saying about the invitation, I suspect this party is purposfully "stuffy" and you will see people dressed in over the top formal wear and certainly a butler passing the glasses of champagne...I suspect it's all a little tongue in cheek and will be great fun!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:18AM
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Thanks for your input everyone. I really appreciate it. After I posted this here I saw there was a beauty & fashion board so I posted there as well and have gotten some great advice. I posted a link to a photo of a dress I wore to my daughter's wedding last week, but I think it's too pink for a holiday party.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:12PM
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I had a look at the photo- it's a nice dress, but considering the season and your colouring I think you would look stunning in a strong, dark jewel colour like almost an emerald green, teal, slightly greener shade of blue than royal, midnight blue or possibly even ruby.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:53PM
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The pink dress is lovely....and not really too summery unless it's chiffon or something.
BUT...always, if in doubt, it's better to be a bit underdressed than over dressed.
I really think you will be more at ease with a "little black dress" and your husband in his conservative black tie tux.
But the fact that the invitation says "formal black tie" makes me think they are having fun with this and will be doing an over the top "giggle giggle" formal party.
I have been invited to any number of black tie parties and never seen an invitation to a "formal black tie" party....so I think there is a bit of fun going on there.
Do you know anyone who knows the hosts well that could give you a hint?
But....again, that little black dress is always good.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:54PM
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Well, I went through my closet yesterday and found a beautiful dress that I had forgotten all about. If you've ever seen "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" it is the same dress that Kate Hudson wore to the formal (silk, low back with criss-cross straps) where they had the big blow-up........only mine is ruby red and I have red silk & sequin pointed toe shoes to go with it. It was hanging there, still with the tags on for two years because I had gained some weight. I tried it on and could wear it if I lose a little in the hips in the next two weeks. If not, I'll stick with the long black velvet skirt, which hides a multitude of sins...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:26AM
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Sounds perfect. I agree with Lindac -- "Formal Black Tie Reception" sounds like tongue in cheek to me, too, so have fun being glitzy! Sounds like a fun party.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:34PM
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