How to Dress Up For a Formal Dinner


Introduction to Dress Code

An effective way of determining the appropriate dress code for an event begins by understanding the invitation. Through the invitation itself, you can get an idea of how you should present yourself. Invitations or announcements can come in a number of ways. They may be either formal or casual.

For example, sending an invitation to a graduation ceremony through mail gives the required dress code a formal touch. Sending the invitation through Facebook definitely makes it casual in comparison. You can’t get out your best copper pans that you spent hours on researching on Red Copper Pan Reviews only to muck up the invitations.

If the invitation alone is not enough to give you an idea of what to wear, it is better to ask and get clarity on the dress code from the event organizers to avoid presenting yourself in the wrong attire. There is nothing wrong with making a follow up on the kind of attire expected in an event. If the organizers are unreachable, try to get sufficient information from any other persons who are expected to attend the event. Keep in mind that your dress code will determine how comfortable you will be and it is your duty as a guest to come prepared.

In some rare cases, you may be completely in the dark on what attire to where. Try to be ready for any scenario by putting on attire that can be dressed down or dressed up if need be. For example, if a suit turns out to be an overdress, it can be dressed down by removing the tie, opening the shirt and folding the sleeves.

It is better to overdress than underdress since getting rid of some attire can be a lot easier compared to looking for a readily available clothing to wear once you are in the event.

Men’s dressing for Formal dinner

Dressing for a formal dinner is a lot easier, considering you already know it is a formal event. A typical dress code for a formal dinner is almost universal and just a few details make all the difference. The black-tie format brings an authoritative and almost militaristic tone to an important event.

A man’s attire should be able to blend with the woman’s bright dress. Even though the dress code is limited to black and other dark and dull tones, you should be able to stand out only if you consider the important details and make the right preparations.

Black Tie Dress Code

This dress code has become a popular formal attire for men to wear at social events. Even though white tie still features in formal attire, the black tie has proved to be the most preferable among men as far as fashion and trend are concerned.

In most cases, you will be required to wear a black tie when going to events that take place in the evening hours. However, it is not a necessity and it will all depend on the host of the dinner party. If the dinner is especially held in a fancy restaurant, then a black tie will be most appropriate. It is important that you get all the information on how and when to use the black tie dress code, so as to be on the safe side when the occasion calls.


Tuxedo is an American term for black tie used in evening dress. No matter what term is used to refer to it in the other English-speaking countries, no black tie event is complete without a tuxedo.

Just like a fine wine served in a formal function, there are certain specifications that you need to adhere to as far as tuxedos are concerned.

Components of a True Tuxedo

Make sure you get a complete set when renting or purchasing a tuxedo. It should be presented in full and ready for the suit.

  • Black Evening Jacket: The evening jacket has slowly replaced the tailcoat as the favorable in modern times. It rarely has a shawl collar since it does not underline the height and shoulders as well as peaked lapels. It is single-breasted and the peaked labels have an upward sweeping. Normally, the exposed part of the peaked lapel contains a glossier material compared to the other parts of the suit. The single-breasted jacket is most preferable due to its openness.
  • Black trousers: They can also be referred to as dinner trousers and piping on the side is always necessary when attending a black tie occasions. The piping could be satin, grosgrain, silk or any other fine material. The piping material should be in coordination with where the lapel is facing. When preparing for a black tie event, do not use trousers that are cuffed at the bottom.
  • Black Cummerbund: The waist component is not only meant to conceal the waistband but to also make the bottom of the shirt look slim.
  • White dress shirt: These are no ordinary shirts. They are characterized by small black buttons, pique cotton, a turndown collar and pleated front.
  • Black bow tie: They come in two types namely the modern “butterfly” and the vintage “bat-wing”. The former is the most common.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *