Alba Andres

Junior Copywriter



The Black-Tie Dress Code Guide

A black-tie invitation instantly calls to mind visions of grace and elegance, from trailing hemlines to the finest fabrics, these events have a decadent reputation. However, there’s no need to feel daunted by such an event, there are plenty of sartorial paths to go down. Read this comprehensive guide to solve every black-tie dress code dilemma.

Jewel Tones

Although the name can be deceiving, there is no obligation to stick to an all-black look for black-tie events. Rich jewel tones, such as red, emerald green and navy are a popular choice. For autumn occasions, try a rich burgundy or deep maroon, while summer soirees call for brighter blues and pinks. Although every colour is acceptable, with the exception of black-tie weddings, these styles promise to impress.

Burgundy autumn style maxi dress by karen millen
Feather Devore Halter Neck Woven Midi Dress

Classic Black

If you sway towards a sleek and classic aesthetic, black is a natural choice. A forever timeless-yet-iconic design, a black dress will see you through endless occasions. Enhance your look with glistening, diamond-encrusted accessories to add a final flourish.

Glamorous black maxi dress with crystal embellishments by karen millen
Embellished Caddy Plunge Cape Sleeve Woven Midi Dress

Cascading Hemlines

Traditionally, hemlines should fall no shorter than knee-length for black-tie events. Whether swaying towards a full-length gown or a classic midi dress, ensure it’s a style that offers confidence as well as sophistication.

Embellished maci dress with leg slit by karen millen
Crystal Embellished Halter Woven Maxi Dress

Dress Alternatives

Add a contemporary touch to your black-tie ensemble in a modern suit set or jumpsuit. Tailored and tuxedo styles work best, whether that be in a bright hue or sleek black. Wide-leg designs in particular ensure a universally-flattering look.

Karen millen tuxedo suit set
Tailored Viscose Satin Back Crepe Blazer Tailored Viscose Satin Back Crepe Trousers

Sumptuous Fabrics

For these high-end occasions, premium fabrics such as satin, silk, tulle, lace , chiffon and velvet are the best choices. Lean towards the thicker fabrics for cooler months and lighter materials for summer soirees. Alternatively, sequins will always have a place on the black-tie agenda. From ruched, couture-inspired designs to streamlined silhouettes, these pieces are not only flattering, but undeniably elegant.

Ruched karen millen maxi dress
Premium Ruched Slip Maxi Dress

Finishing Touches

From scintillating accessories to glamorous layers, complete your black-tie outfit with these elevated pieces.