Monday, January 21, 2013

Black Tie (Optional)

I'll admit it. I've never been to a very formal, dressy party before.
But next weekend, the dashingly handsome sidekick and I are escaping to a college friend's wedding and we just found out yesterday that it is "black tie optional."

So, now I need help from all my friends with a clue. I've Googled this term, but am getting mixed results. Some people say, despite the "optional" tag, the bride and groom expect my husband to show up in a tux. Others say that he should just wear his darkest suit. The consensus, however, seems to be that a sport coat and tie will not cut it (which is what he was planning to wear).

And very little is said about what women should wear. Does this mean I have to run out and buy a new, sparkly evening dress and shoes to go with it? (I'm not sure if I want the answer to be yes or no. My bank account has a personality and is freaking out at this prospect.)

What's your verdict? Have you been to a black-tie-optional event before? What did you wear?

Photo credit: jdurham from


  1. I have. I wore a semi-formal black dress, but definitions vary. And it didn't cost very much (my bank account freaks out over things like this, too).

    Ask your friend, the one who invited you, what she would like you to wear. That's what I did.

    And have fun! :o)

  2. Amy, ask your friend who invited you and explain that with five kids "black tie optional" for you means trying to find that one black tie Dashing owns. :)

    And yes, have fun!!!

  3. Any excuse for this mom to dress up is a good one! I love getting fancy.

    Have a great time!

  4. A dark suit would do, but traditionally it is a tux. Long gown for you. Do you have a Chinese dress that is long? I have worn a sari for black-tie events.

  5. I'd say men have it so much easier than women when it comes to things like this! They can just rent a tux. For women, you can go anywhere from cocktail dress (depending on the time of the event) to long gown, though full on ball gown is (happily) not likely. I love the suggestion to wear a long Cheongsam (I think that's the right word!).

  6. I went to a black tie optional wedding and I wore a long dress and my husband wore a black suit and tie because he did not own a tux. I think you can wear whatever you like : ) I'm sure your friends just want you to feel comfortable in whatever you wear. Have fun!

  7. Hi Amy I'd go with what you've got at home ... your handsome sidekick in a dark suit ... and you in a jazzy or jazzed up smart dress or outfit - don't worry too much and don't spend too much .. but them I'm a practical one ..

    Just enjoy the wedding - it's your company they want ... not your clothes ...

    but -have fun anyway ... cheers Hilary