White Tie Vs Black Tie Wedding Event by Sam Saboura

Black Tie vs White Tie Events

Black Tie vs White Tie Events

Hello Sunday! Sunday is always one of my favorite days because it is typically spent at home relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I like to get up a little later than normal, (8:30am, yep that’s sleeping in for me!), have a lovely breakfast, walk the dog, sit and relax. Oh, and  sometimes I stay in my pajamas until noon. Yep, its a pretty casual day. But today, we get a bit formal.  Sunday just got elegant and lovely.  It is all about the white tie and black tie event.  Ever been curious of the difference? I know I have. So, that is why I asked fashion stylist and TLC star, Sam Saboura to break it down, and describe the differences between these two formal events.

Here is what Sam Saboura shared with me: 

White Tie events are the most formal of all events and pretty serious stuff. They are reserved for evening and are only really “white tie” if they take place after dark. If the event is this formal but happens during the day, then morning coats are required of men—think the royal wedding or as the name implies, men wear white ties and white vests with black or midnight blue tailcoats and pants. The shirt collar should be wing tip. Women wear long gowns and are normally required to wear white opera length gloves as well. Cocktail dresses and tea-length gowns are frowned upon and gloves stay on at all times except during dinner.

Black Tie events are considered semi-formal by comparison, but for most Americans this is as about as dressed up as we get. Again, these events are technically reserved for after 6pm and formal dress is required.

Men should wear a black or midnight blue tuxedo suit, white shirt, black vest or cummerbund and a black bow tie. A modern black tie event will allow for a man to wear a classic black necktie. Black tie is not to be confused with creative black tie or the like. This is a formal event and the dress code is pretty strict.

Women have more room these days for black tie events. The dress should be formal and long, though cocktail dresses are totally apropos these days. Back in the day most dresses women wore to black tie affairs showed their shoulders, so some kind of wrap was always encouraged. Evening shoes were and are a must and gloves are optional–but not out of the ordinary.


Thank you Sam! I know what to wear now, the next time I go to a white tie or black tie event!

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