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Dress Code 101: Defining Black Tie Creative

When it comes to dress codes, we’ve all heard, pondered, and discussed the meaning of the traditional rules for black tie, business formal, business casual, and even the occasional strange request, like “beach casual.” A new trend has been growing, however; one that is leaving many men confused as they receive their invitations for parties designed to ring in the New Year: black tie creative.

What is Black Tie Creative?

The definition of black tie creative is simple, yet complex. It’s a dress code that insists you know the rules of black tie, so that you can effectively break them in subtle ways. It means respecting a long, upheld tradition of black tie, but adding a bit of creativity and fun to it.

How do you do this? There are several options available to you.

  • Change the Details- The safest way to dress for a black tie creative event is to keep your foundation in check. This means wearing what you’d normally wear to a black tie event: a tux or dark men’s suits. Once this is in place, subtly add creative details, like a printed French cuff shirt, themed cufflinks, or a velvet tie instead of silk.
  • Add a Bit of Winter- Winter parties and galas are the perfect time for black tie creative events because they allow men to add a bit of depth through winter accessories. The most common, of course, is the scarf. Adding a colourful scarf to a traditional tux or suits can provide the perfect festive look.
  • Black Suits- Don’t have a tux for the event? Get creative by using a black suit. Choose one with peak lapels, pair it with a formal-appropriate patterned dress shirt, and add an ascot or tie.
  • Get Creative With Your Tie- At a normal black tie event, a black silk tie or bow tie would be a dress code requirement. When the dress code demands you be creative, however, you can have a bit of fun. Choose an exciting pattern or colour for your tie- something that will draw the eye and start a conversation. Just make sure the pattern and colour are appropriate and don’t clash with any other choices you’ve made for the ensemble.
  • Change the Colour- When most men think of attending a black tie event, they automatically assume they’re going to be wearing a black tux. When the invitation says creative, why not change it up a bit? Instead of wearing black, choose another colour, like midnight blue. This will still give you a very formal appearance, but will make your look a bit more fun.

Suits, Tweed Jackets, and Black Tie Creative Events

Suits are perfectly acceptable to wear to black tie creative events, but they should always be formal and dark in colour. On the other hand, tweed jackets are never okay. Remember, these events are still formal, even if they are a little more fun. Men’s tweed jackets aren’t formal enough to wear to these events.

Did you receive an invite to a black tie creative event? Make sure you know what to wear and how to show off your creative side.

By Brook Taverner 13 January 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments