Black tie has always been the sartorial zenith for a man, which is why a true gentleman should have the dress code cracked. Whether you take your style inspiration from Bond or HRH, here are our top 5 tips to ensure you nail your next black tie occasion.
Beaufort & Blake: Top 5 tips for perfecting Black Tie
1. It’s worth investing…
Black tie is only worn a handful of times throughout the year so it’s worth investing in something that’s well made and fits your properly. A good fit is especially important with your jacket, and the material on the lapels should match the braiding on the trousers and the button fabric. Remember, an eye for detail is the hallmark of a sartorial gentleman.
Consider the fabric of your jacket carefully – if the wallet allows, opt for grosgrain silk over satin. Alternatively go for wool barathea or mohair. A peak lapel is also a must – it not only looks a bit more special but will also accentuate your figure (avoid notch lapels – these are staples of the dreaded black-tie hire!). If you decide to go for a double-breasted suit – be prepared to have it done up all evening to avoid the dreaded hang.
2. Party at the back
Your shirt should always have a turn down collar – remember, wing collars are for white tie. The front must be Marcela or pleated – the first being our preference to avoid the Seventies ruffled look. Those looking for a more flamboyant option should look no further than yours truly.
Take your pick from our selection of patterned back dress shirts that come to life when the jacket comes off. A personal favourite of ours is the rather eccentric Air Balloon ‘Ellies’.
3. Practice makes perfect
It’s simple - there is no excuse for a gentleman to not know how to tie a bow tie. Go online, find a tutorial video, and practice. In no circumstance should you consider a ‘cheat’ bow tie. Not only can everyone tell it's a fake but you’ll be devastated when photos surface of your contemporaries looking suave with undone bow ties around their necks at the end of the night.
You have two options when it comes to materials – either match it to the face of your lapel or go for something a little different, inject a bit of colour. It so happens that we also have you covered in that department.
4. All the gear, but no idea
Don’t go overboard with accessories, especially if you’ve already opted for both an outlandish bow tie and a patterned back shirt. Braces, cummerbund, evening loafers are an option but don’t go for them all - especially not if they clash colours. A subtle but classic addition is the silk scarf – step away from the usual white and go for something daring, why not try polkadots?
5. Be brave
Despite being called ‘black tie’ – our rule is that it shouldn't actually be black, but rather midnight blue. ‘Blue?’, I hear you say. Well, there is some method behind the madness.
Midnight blue looks blacker than black itself and in low light it gives a richness you don’t get with the colour black. We dare you, take the leap of faith as when in the right conditions your black blue tie suit will look rather special.