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Special Occasions

If the Invitation says “Black Tie”

It is generally accepted that "Black Tie" requires formal attire. Take advantage of this opportunity to truly look and feel your very best in a tuxedo. Today, "Black Tie" means formal attire, not specifically to wear a black tie. 

If the Invitation says “White Tie” or “Full Dress” 

You can step into the glittering special occasion looking dashing and proper in a traditional tailcoat. Wear a white wing collar shirt, a white pique vest, white tie, and black trousers accented by the formal satin stripe. Complete your outfit with patent shoes.

If the Invitation says “Black Tie Preferred”wedding

Indicates that the host prefers guests to wear formal evening attire to the special occasion. Black Tuxedo, White Dinner Jacket (mid-April through Labor Day) or a dark contemporary style tuxedo are acceptable (no Tailcoats). 
Non-formal Dress Suits are also acceptable, but not preferred by the host.

If the Invitation says “Black Tie Optional”

Is not as strong a statement for formal attire as "Black Tie" or "Black Tie Preferred," yet formal dress is wholly appropriate and acceptable. Styles may include Black Tuxedo, White Dinner Jacket (mid-April through Labor Day) or a dark contemporary style Tuxedo (no Tailcoats). 

If the Invitation says “Black Tie Invited”

Is a phrase appearing more frequently than "preferred" or "optional." It is usually in the context of large gatherings of civic or business groups, such as a dinner sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. It states that gentlemen attending are welcome to dress in formal attire if they would like, but it is not required. Styles for these affairs are the same as for "Black Tie Optional." 

 If the Invitation says “Semi-Formal” 

In strict and very proper social circles, "Semi-Formal" means "Black Tie." However, today, if a host wants his guests to wear Black Tuxedos, he will generally use the phrase "Black Tie Event." "Semi-Formal" allows any style of Tuxedo or Dinner Jacket. This is where knowledge of your local community, common sense and good taste come into play. For example, it would be more appropriate to dress formally if the invitation were to a dinner party at the local country club than if it were to a dance celebrating a local college football victory. As a general rule, if a lady wears a floor-length gown, it is appropriate for her escort to wear formal attire. If you are ever unsure about how to dress, call the host or hostess for guidance in dressing for the special occasion.