Whether it’s the Golden Globes or the Grammys, many of us—male and female—watch for the styles. The fashion chatter usually centers around the ladies; however, there is something to be said for a guy who can successfully achieve a red carpet look. So, take your cues from award show fashion to gain inspiration for what to wear to a black-tie wedding, and forget about any casual attire.
Although some guys go off-script and wear colorful and downright outlandish looks, it’s best to stick to the formal dress code rules when attending a black-tie wedding. After all, not many can pull off the fashions that Lil Nas X wears at the Grammys. Actually, for most occasions, black-tie attire means a tuxedo. It’s the height of style, and, consequently, it’s an effortless look to sport. We’ll tell you how with our guide to dressing in your black-tie best for an evening wedding.
Black-tie attire means that you should be wearing a black tuxedo or a black suit, but you can still let your personality shine through. With a few simple guidelines, you can put an outfit together worthy of the red carpet or wedding aisle.
How to Rent a Tuxedo Locally Most guys don’t have a tux hanging in their closet, but if they do, chances are that it doesn’t get much use. That’s where rentals come in handy. Many local bridal salons and upscale men’s shops rent tuxedos to grooms and other wedding party members. Chances are that they can get you one, too.
Pros of Renting a Tux Locally - An advantage of heading somewhere in person is that you can ensure a perfect fit. Also, if something is wrong—a missing button or loose hem—they can order another piece or fix it on site. You can also see fabrics and styles in person, which is a huge plus.
Cons of Renting a Tux Locally - The downside to renting is usually drop off times, especially if you’re traveling and rent at your final destination. Returning your tux before an early Sunday morning flight may prove difficult.
How to Rent a Tux Online It seems that you can do just about anything with the internet at your fingertips, and renting a tux is one of them. Many businesses specialize in formalwear rentals, so be sure to select a longstanding one with a good reputation.
Pros of Renting a Tux Online - Quite often, companies have strict measurement guidelines on their website. However, many online rental sites will send you a tuxedo to test out before the main event. They are also a bit more flexible with return times, giving up to 72 hours to ship your pieces back.
Cons of Renting a Tux Online - Although rentals usually come with quick shipping, it’s tough to solve problems right away if something arrives damaged. Unless you can do a try on ahead of time, selecting fabrics and styles from afar can prove challenging.
Where to Buy a Tuxedo If you’re the exception and have quite a few black-tie events coming up, investing in a tuxedo can save money in the long run. Many men’s clothiers sell tuxedos, although purchasing online is also an option. Be sure to order it well in advance of your black-tie wedding so that you can make exchanges, if necessary.
Yikes! You’re all set with what black-tie is, but the invitation adds one tiny, scary word after it—optional. Don’t worry. Demystifying the terminology is easier than it sounds, but this never, ever means that jeans and your favorite band t-shirt are okay.
Black-tie optional attire for weddings is a bit more relaxed than a tuxedo. Often, couples choose this option to alleviate any financial burden for their guests. After all, the expense of traveling and buying a wedding gift is enough without having to spring for new suiting. So, seeing the word “optional” is a good thing.
Think of it as mimicking a tuxedo without wearing one. Dark suiting with a crisp, white shirt and black shoes are ideal. Also, add traditional accessories, such as a pocket square, dark bow tie, and cufflinks. Skip the studs and cumberbund, but feel free to wear a vest if you have one that matches your suit.
The rule of thumb is to stick to the dress code and wear your most formal wear. If you don’t own a suit, it’s probably the time to invest in one, or you could go the tuxedo rental route.
Quick tip: Black-tie optional can also be referenced as “black-tie preferred.”
So, whether you’re headed to a black-tie wedding or are one of the fortunate ones to walk the red carpet at a black-tie event, use our guide to get it right. With a few key pieces—either borrowed or purchased—you’ll soon be looking your best at the season’s best events. Which, of course, includes weddings.