What does "black tie optional" really mean? 20-40-60 answers
YOU ASK…WE ANSWER…YOU DECIDE
Question: The party invitation said “black tie optional.” What does that mean? Wear a business suit? A tux, if you want to? What if I wear a suit and everyone else has on a tuxedo? Does that mean women wear dressy cocktail dresses no matter what I wear? Do I call the host and ask what he/she is wearing?
Callie’s Answer: If it says “black tie optional” most people will be wearing black tie, although when in doubt, call the host or hostess and ask what he or she is wearing.
Women will, yes, be wearing a cocktail dress regardless. We finally have something that we do not have to think about. The cocktail dress is a staple.
Lillie-Beth’s Answer: I’ve been to “black tie optional” events recently and have seen a mixture of dress. It seems as if the men who own tuxedos wear them and the men who don’t wear their dressiest suits. The same goes with the women, although it can depend on what their dates are wearing and on what types of dresses they have. “Black tie optional” does not usually mean all the women are decked out in long, formal ball gowns. It means you can wear one if you have one, or a dressy cocktail dress is fine.
Still, the dress for a “black tie optional” party is still pretty formal, but stating those words on the invitation leaves it up to the individual as to how much to dress up.
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