There comes a time in a man’s life when an invitation drops into his mailbox stating: Dress code: strictly black tie. What does it actually mean? And how strict is this dress code?
 
 
We consulted GQ directly - the magazine that had sent the invitation. We spoke to stylists and browsed the Internet. And we came to the conclusion that there isn’t much flexibility with regard to the black tie dress code. 
 
A must: the dinner suit
 
A (black) suit is simply not enough. It has to be a dinner suit, with the typical velvet stripes on the trouser legs. When it comes to the jacket, there is a little more room for manoeuvre. It can be in a fine fabric, but velvet is also permitted. What’s more, some colour is allowed on the top half - ranging from white through to elegant dark blue or wine red. A double-breasted jacket is also allowed.
 
 
The shirt: white
 
A white shirt has to be worn with a dinner suit. This must have a covered button panel and double cuffs. The classic dinner shirt has a wing collar, although a cutaway collar is also acceptable if this is more your style.
 
What about accessories? Bow tie and cufflinks 
 
Accessories such as jewellery and watches should not actually be worn with a dinner suit. Apart from your wedding ring, of course, a black bow tie and a pair of cufflinks are the only details that should be worn with the look.
The shoes: any colour other than black?
 
Finding the right shoes for the black tie dress code was our biggest problem. The style guide recommends black patent shoes, but we didn’t like shoes in which we could see our own reflection. Our solution: black velvet laces for Flo and plain, black leather slip-ons for Simon. The latter is very popular in England.
 

Tuxedo shirts

Tuxedo shirts

Bow tie