Do's and don'ts at a black tie event

Have you got a black tie function coming up? Going to be rubbing shoulders with some of Melbourne’s most well-heeled? You want to be looking your absolute best, on point and in fine form.

Everyone is going to be looking absolutely amazing at a black tie event, so the idea isn’t to stand out or bend the conventions of black tie fashion, its to blend in with them. This doesn’t mean that you’ll sacrifice style, you will just be as stunningly dressed as everyone around you.

Man in black suit adjusting cuff links

Use this handy guide to make sure that you are attired appropriately for the absolute epitome of the formal event.

Do Go with a Peak Lapel

A shawl lapel can be worn, but it has to be done very well. While a notch lapel should never be worn at a black tie. A peak lapel is a safe bet and will help you get the sought after V-shape for your suit.

Don’t Wear a White Jacket

A black, dinner suit jacket is definitely the way to go. Keep it simple and elegant. A black velvet jacket is an option however, for those seeking a little bit of a different, vintage look.

Do Learn How to Tie a Bowtie

There is no reason why you shouldn’t learn how to do this for a black tie event. It is a simple technique, which can be learned online with the help of YouTube. Practice the week beforehand if you are worried or hopeless at ties, and please, for everyone’s sake, stick to a black one.

Don’t Wear a Neck Tie

This is a big no-no for a black tie event. Bow ties are absolutely essential.

Do Consider Midnight Blue

Dark, deep blues are kosher at black tie events. Match it with a crisp, elegant white shit and bow tie and some very subtle accessories.

Don’t Touch the Bottom Button!

Keep it un-buttoned, and always remember to unbutton your jacket prior to sitting down, and button it up as soon as you stand. 

Do Shine your Shoes!

Un-shined shoes are the end of civilisation. For the single fellows out there – the first thing a woman will look at after meeting you is the condition of your footwear. You want to be well-heeled. Even if you’re a happily married man, you should still be looking after that leather. There is no point in having an amazing suit, shirt and bow tie combination and wearing scuffed, dirty shoes. Do it yourself before the event or hit the shoeshine booth on Collins St, Melbourne. It’s up the Paris end.

Get in Touch to Know More

Opal Formal Wear can advise you on all things black tie. We also hire out Tuxedos and suits and can help get you looking great for your function. Please contact us online or call 03 9499 1471.


Angelo Charitakis
Angelo Charitakis

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