Black Tie Dress Code Australia

Unfortunately, many mortals don’t have the luxury of dressing up for dinner every night. Even if you don’t wear a black-tie very often, you should still be able to dress in the most extravagant dress codes. There’s a good chance that the occasion will be special. No matter what it may be, you will want to excel.

BLACK TIE’S HISTORY

Eveningwear historians have traced the roots of black-tie back to when wearing tails for dinner was commonplace. Simon Cundey is the managing director of Henry Poole. He was the legendary Savile Row tailor who invented the dinner jacket. Sunday, Poole’s great-grandson and business partner, is also named Simon. To have a smoke in the drawing-room, you would swap your tailcoat for an open-toed jacket. Then you would return to your normal attire out of respect for the ladies.

The suit was eventually purchased by Poole-buying New York’s Tuxedo Club members. Although the term is Americanized, Cundey still uses it in his way.

What does BLACK TIE HEAVEN mean TODAY?

Many styles and colours are available, so the strict definition of the black tie has been lessened over time. A black tie does not have to be black. Technically, it shouldn’t. However, any desire to stand out should be tempered by an appreciation for uniformity. Cundey says that black-tie events are marked by mutual respect and refined behaviour. It’s like a golf club, where everyone wears their matching blazers. It looks professional. It looks more like a Caddyshack when they are wearing different colours.

A black-tie event, in short, is a party where you dress up fancy. It’s not a fancy dress party.

NEW RULES FOR BLACK TIE

COVER YOUR BASES

Cundey says, “The number one rule is that your waistcoat should cover the band seam of your trousers.” Cundey says that there is nothing worse than a waistcoat too high or too low on the trousers. This can lead to the shirt’s band seam being visible.

If your dinner suit does not have a third piece, you may not see the point in a cummerbund.

DON’T ALWAYS BET ON BLACK

Although it might seem odd to wear a midnight blue dinner jacket, it is historically more accurate. It gets darker as the sunsets.

MATCH YOUR METALS

Not only will your black tie-appropriate watch need to be synchronized, but so is your watch. It is possible to marry your watch, studs and cufflinks. Your wedding ring?

PLAY A TEAM GAMES

If your invitation does not say ‘black tie creative’ or ‘Ballon d’Or’, then you can withhold any individual flair.

CRUSH IT IN Velvet

Smoking jackets are becoming a popular choice in the drawing-room. Cundey says that the smoking jacket is “advantageous for more formal events, and more enjoyable,” like cocktail attire. However, he also highlights the range of styles that can be worn in a more formal outfit.

GIVE HOLLYWOOD a PASS

Contrast lapels will be used on a dinner suit jacket, and the pants will have ribbon running down the legs. Both will typically be made of lustrous materials such as satin, grosgrain, or faille.

BUTTON YOUR FLIGHTWAY

Some people like to show off their waistcoats. However, as with any tailored jacket you should fasten it up, unless you are seated. Just the top button, if there are more (which should be).

The Prince of Wales may have invented this custom, though it is a subconscious one. Legend has it that he could not wear his waistcoat all the way up after overindulging. To flatter him – or not offend him – his companions untied theirs.

BREAK WITH TRADITION

It’s obvious that you are not a character of Downton Abbey. Fashion has changed since 1865. We now live in a world that Ralph Lauren can wear a dinner jacket with jeans, and Pharrell can (depending upon your point of view) wear shorts.

Trailblazing mavericks can break arcane rules – but there is a time and place. Before you ‘disrupt’, make sure you are going to the right place at the right time.

BLACK TIE: THE KEY PICES

DINNER SUIT

Before Poole switched to wool barathea with contrasting corded, it was silk.

The silhouette was further streamlined by jetted pockets, which is a narrower version of an inside breast pocket and a slit-like a flap. Poole doesn’t like to have hip pockets on his trousers but likes to place a pocket in the jacket’s bottom right for a cigar.

THE SHIRT

Double-cuff your shirt and secure it with cufflinks. In a wardrobe crisis, you can get away with a simple white shirt but it will make you look less elegant.

THE BOW TIE

It’s almost impossible to tie a proper bow tie if you follow line-drawn instructions. However, it’s surprisingly easy if you watch a video tutorial from a gentleman’s outfitter in the south. The best way to show off your knowledge is to wear it untied at night, just before you reach into your secret cigar pocket.