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What Should I Wear to a Black-Tie Wedding?

Has this ever happened to you? You open the mail to find a fancy looking envelope, likely decorated with beautiful calligraphy on the front. When you look inside, you find an even fancier invitation to a wedding. As your eyes scroll through all of the details you suddenly see, “dress code: black tie”. It’s likely you’re going to have one of two reactions: sheer excitement or absolute dread. You either adore having an excuse to get dressed to the nines or become nervous at the thought of trying to find something appropriate to wear. Whatever the case might be, we have all of the answers and details you’re seeking. Find out all of the best tips and advice for what you should wear to a black-tie wedding below.

What Should I Wear to a Black-Tie Wedding?

Are you wondering what you should wear to a black-tie wedding coming up? Don’t worry! We have you covered. You’ll find the proper recommendations for both men and women below.


The standard of what a man should wear to a black-tie wedding seems simple enough. The most common answer you’ll hear is a tuxedo. While this is essentially correct, the pieces that make up the tuxedo are important. For the jacket, a single or double-breasted black wool or herringbone dinner jacket with silk lapels is usually worn. This is paired with a white dress shirt, hand-tied bowtie, black dress pants, and black polished shoes. Waistcoats and cummerbunds are optional but do add a nice touch to the overall finished look. Other nice embellishments that can be added include shirt studs, cufflinks, a pocket watch, or a silk scarf in the pocket. Avoid wearing a belt. The pants should be tailored so you don’t need one.


Women have more options when it comes to what they should wear to a black-tie wedding. The most recognized standard is long dresses and evening gowns. However, you can easily get away with midi style and longer cocktail dresses. It doesn’t need to be a ball gown or anything too extravagant. It should look sophisticated, not be too short, or too low cut. Try to find dresses made from luxe fabrics with appliqués, embellished beads, silk, or lace accents. All colors are fair game here except for white, ivory, or beige. Basically, anything that would look similar to white.

For shoes, you’ll want to find a simple heel that matches your chosen dress color. Strappy stiletto heels are always in fashion. For accessories, you’ll want to seek out timeless classics like diamonds and pearls. A pair of stunning diamond studs matched with a pearl necklace can make the perfect accents. While there are many purse options available, you’ll usually see clutches and other small handbags at black-tie events.

Stick to the Classics for What to Wear to a Black-Tie Wedding

When looking for what you should wear to a black-tie wedding, you can never go wrong when you stick to the classics! Men should stick to the classic tuxedo look, preferably one that has been tailored. While women have more options available, long dresses and evening gowns in any color other than white can be perfect.