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What is black tie and can you add colour?

A “Black Tie” invitation can seem intimidating at first, but as long as you follow a few simple guidelines and try to be mindful of your host’s wishes and expectations, you should not go far wrong at this season’s best events.

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White Tie

The White Tie dress code is perhaps the most formal, and if you are invited to a White Tie event it is an opportunity for ladies to wear their best jewels and a full-length ball gown. If you like, add long white gloves, but these are optional.

Gentlemen can wear a black tail coat with matching trousers, a wing collar shirt, white waistcoat and white bow tie. Black silk socks should be worn with black patent leather shoes.

Black Tie

This can be more or less formal depending on who your host is. For ladies, it is an opportunity to wear something stunning like an emerald maxi dress with heels and jewels to match. Of course, it does not have to be a maxi dress or, in fact, a long gown at all. A shorter cocktail dress can also be appropriate in a Black Tie situation, so it is your choice.

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Gentlemen should wear a dinner jacket or tuxedo with matching trousers and a bow tie. Choose between a waistcoat and a cummerbund, whichever feels most comfortable, and complete the look with laced Oxfords or calfskin or black patent leather pumps. If you are looking for a casual but equally stylish alternative you could take a look at the Farah Shirts that you can see at https://www.ejmenswear.com/men/farah

GQ offers further advice about black tie rules.

Black Tie Optional

This is a tricky one, particularly for men, because you could be the only guest to turn up in a business suit and look as though you have not made any effort. Conversely, if you wear the full black tie you might look like the maître d. Perhaps try to find out from the host what is really expected.

It is much easier for ladies, as they can wear a long gown on any occasion. As long as your favourite maxi dress is not too casual, it will be fine to wear to a black tie optional event.

In the colder months, gentlemen can wear a black or charcoal overcoat, preferably with a velvet collar and a scarf. Ladies can choose a velvet evening coat or a faux-fur shrug.

Mens shirts since the 19th Century

Fashions come and go but some garments remain in the most part with a few tweaks and additions made over the years. This is how it has been for the shirt. There have been numerous changes to this staple garment since the 19th Century and we now have an array of options to choose from including formal wear right through to stylish Mens Farah Shirts. Here are some of the top changes since the 19th Century.

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Early 19th Century – the length of the shirt was increased so that it covered the torso and upper legs. This allowed it to be worn over tight fitting trousers and also as an undergarment to keep the wear warm in the colder weather.

Mid 19th Century – women were becoming frustrated with having to wash shirts that were only dirty at the collar and cuffs and Hannah Montague in New York developed a detachable collar that allowed her to remove it from the main shirt and wash separately.

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Late 19th Century – by 1871 Brown, Davis & Co had developed and patented a shirt that buttoned all the way down. Up until this point most of the shirts that had been designed still had to be pulled on and off over the head.

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