What to Wear to a Black Tie Event

What to Wear to a Black Tie Event

How to approach “Black Tie”

Few events require as much glamming up as a black-tie occasion. The ominous “Black Tie” invitation arrives at your door.  And with those two little words, you know you’re going to be dressing to the nines. 

But what – exactly – should you wear? Do you wear a short dress or a long gown?  What’s more black-tie attire can be costly.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for a dress for a black-tie wedding is that you don’t have to spend a fortune.  There is a secret knack to dressing to the nines in an affordable manner.  That’s why at Designer Room you can HIRE your favourite designer dress for that special black-tie occasion, designed by a multitude of haute couture fashion houses and designers.  It was modelled around one idea and that is ‘why buy when you can hire designer dresses’. 

Designer Room which is truly a budget-fashionista’s best friend. You can choose from a collections of carefully hand-picked designer dresses online (by Gucci, Dolce & Gabanna, Roksanda or Victoria Beckham and the like) and rent them for a fraction of the price.  Or if you prefer you can make a private appointment to try on a selection of dresses, so you’re sure to find the perfect evening dress.

A simple rule of thumb when putting together a black-tie wedding outfit might be to ask yourself, “What would I wear if I were invited to the Golden Globes?”.  Here’s a guide to help you decide what to wear.

Black-Tie dress code: The Guide

A Black-Tie event is for you to look your most gorgeous! Embrace it and have fun. Floor-length gowns are completely acceptable, as are beading, bling, and more. Black tie doesn’t necessarily require a long dress, of course, if you’re going short, be sure it makes a fashion statement and isn’t something you might wear to a cocktail party or a club.

Subtle patterns are acceptable, but, most people will wear bright, solid shades. Colour will be highly encouraged. And of course, women shouldn’t stay clear of white. Bring out your best jewels and high heels and jazz it up!

Here are a few looks from our ShowRoom 


Black Tie Etiquette: Your Questions Answered

Is it true that Black-Tie suggests you should wear a ball gown?

While evening gowns are standard fare for black tie weddings, you can wear a floor-length dress or a formal cocktail dress (of the longer variety).

What evening dresses are appropriate?

You can wear a dress in any silhouette you like. Go all out with a trumpet or ball gown or keep it simple with a dressy sheath. Whatever style you choose, make sure you’re able to walk in it. When you wear a floor-length dress, the goal is to have the hem graze the ground. If the hem falls higher, it will look ill-fitted. If the dress is longer, you’ll risk stepping on the fabric and tripping.

If I wear a cocktail dress, how should I style it?

If it’s very formal you can wear a cocktail dress if it falls above-the-knee, but it shouldn’t get much shorter than that for a black-tie wedding. For this occasion, it’s not recommended to show too much skin. Rather, keep the hemline modest and keep any cleavage to a minimum. Steer clear of anything that looks like you’re going to a club or party. Instead, opt for sophisticated cocktail dresses made from rich fabric and fine details. As a finishing touch, pair your cocktail dress with sleek heels, gorgeous jewellery and an elegant clutch so the overall look is formal.

What colours are appropriate for a black-tie wedding?

All colours work of course except white, off-white, or anything else that’s even close to white. Apart from that, the only colour you might want to avoid is the colour the bridesmaids are wearing, as you might end up looking like a member of the wedding party.

Other than that, you’re good to go. Often, people think black is a no-go for weddings, but that’s simply not the case. A floor-length black gown or a fancy little black dress are elegant, classy options that are perfectly appropriate. Red is another colour that gets called into question for wedding attire, but wearing red is acceptable so long as it doesn’t call attention away from the bride. For weddings of all dress codes, jewel tones are excellent options especially for autumn and pastel hues are lovely for summer weddings.

Is it possible to go overboard and look to elaborate?

Short answer? Yes. If you’re questioning whether your outfit is too formal, you need only ask yourself one simple question: Are you going to upstage the bride? If there’s even a chance, wear something else. This isn’t the time for head-to-toe crystals, body-baring cut out gowns or anything remotely bridal.

What am I supposed to wear for a black-tie ceremony in the morning or early afternoon?

Spectacular, ground-grazing couture isn’t right for a morning ceremony — in fact, it’s considered bad form to wear evening gowns when it’s not, in fact, the evening… which can make planning your dress for a black-tie wedding in the morning or early afternoon a bit tricky. For a morning or early afternoon ceremony, wear an elegant formal tea-length dress, or well-designed cocktail dress.

What is “black-tie” optional?

This is more for men in that they have the option of wearing a dark, formal suit rather than a tuxedo. Nothing changes for the ladies.

Hiring Designer Dresses – How does it work?

If you think the Wedding venue and setting call for something extra-special and feel somewhat pressured into buying a new black-tie dress?  The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune.  Designer Room offers a selection of wedding guest dresses online for rent at your convenience.  But If you prefer you can arrange a personal appointment to attend the showroom for a more a personal service tailored to suit you and your needs. But before you make any wardrobe decisions you can view all their collections, designer brands and exquisite dresses online at designerroom.ie.

Hiring at Designer Room couldn’t be easier – you simply book an appointment online and attend the showroom on that day.  The showroom itself is set in a comfortable and relaxing space for women to try on potential dresses. Once you found ‘the right black-tie dress’ you can simply hire it. 

The first of its kind in Ireland Designer Room is in the beautiful coastal suburb of Sandymount, Dublin 4.  What’s more appointments can be arranged outside of the usual business hours.