Warm-weather gatherings

Black tie is a dress code for evening events and social functions. For a man, the main component is a usually black jacket, known as a dinner jacket (in the Commonwealth) or tuxedo (mainly in the United States). Women’s dress for black tie occasions can vary to a much greater extent, ranging from a cocktail dress that is at or below the knee to a long evening gown, determined by current fashion, local custom,discount women shoes
and the occasion’s time.

When the tuxedo jacket (“dinner jacket” in British English) was first invented in the Victorian era it was intended as an informal replacement for the tailcoat which men of the upper classes wore every evening. Thus it was worn with the standard accompaniments for the evening tailcoat at the time: matching trousers, white or black waistcoat, white bow tie, white wing-collar formal shirt and black formal shoes. It was intended only for “stag” occasions when women were not present.

During the Edwardian era the practice of wearing a black waistcoat and black bow tie with a tuxedo became standard, establishing the basis of the current black tie and white tie dress codes. The tuxedo was also increasingly accepted at informal evening occasions such as warm-weather gatherings or intimate dinners with friends.

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After World War I the tuxedo became de facto evening wear, taking on the status of “semi-formal” in the United States by the 1940s, while the evening tailcoat was limited to extremely formal or ceremonial occasions. During this interwar period double-breasted jackets, turndown-collar shirts and cummerbunds became acceptable for warm-weather black-tie evenings as did white jackets.

Formal and semi-formal attire became widely available to the middle class due to the rising popularity of rented clothing and increased quality of ready-to-wear clothing.

Following World War II black tie became special occasion attire rather than standard evening wear and was increasingly categorized as “formal”.affordable evening dress In the 1950s colored and patterned jackets, cummerbunds and bow ties became very popular but were generally rejected by etiquette authorities.

By the 1960s “black tie” was no longer synonymous with “tuxedo” or “formal wear” as the former upheld the traditional standards of tuxedo-based evening wear while the latter were becoming a matter of personal interpretation. The introduction of ruffled shirts and then colored tuxedo suits in the 1970s further separated the two concepts of formality.

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