Black tie event; getting the look just right

It’s the biggest night in your social calendar. The black tie event. At any formal occasion the men’s evening wear may play a starring role in enhancing its wearer, but the role it plays in enhancing the occasion is merely a supporting one; providing the backdrop for the stunning ladies fashion seen on the night. It’s all about getting the look just right. Making sure you’re dressy enough, whilst choosing something that complements your figure and makes you feel comfortable and confident.



Where to start?

Dress Code

When it comes to the term “black tie”, the dress code is infinitely more complicated than it suggests on the invitation. Those simple two words can create a myriad of different options, ranging from party dresses to floor length gowns. Now’s not the time to panic. It’s time to start getting as much information as you can to make sure you hit the right style notes.

Written invitation

It’s important to find out from the hostess what dress she is expecting. Most good hostesses will follow the current trend – shown by a well-known duchess – of sending a written invitation to guests including a few lines dispelling any dress confusion. The invitation itself also tends to give you some clues. If it’s a simple drinks party this may well need a little black dress or cocktail dress, whereas a more lavish affair will call for a much grander outfit.

It’s not always that easy to tell from the invitation though. If you’re attending a black tie dinner whilst holidaying on a cruise ship, it may be difficult to understand the dress code. Stay on the side of caution. Opt for something formal. Make sure it flatters your figure and you feel confident in it. If you do, you know the confidence will radiate out to the rest of the room.

Picking the perfect dress

You can’t go wrong with a little black dress. Versatile and flirty, the LBD is a style that every woman has to have in her wardrobe. Suitable for any occasion, it’s a great option for a black tie event if you’re a little unsure on how formal you should go. Adding some sparkling and chic accessories will ensure you look fabulous, whatever the occasion.

A floor length gown is a black tie staple that has stood the test of time. It’s a great way to give yourself an instantly chic and sophisticated look. Gowns can be very flattering, skimming your figure and with the right shapewear will give you a great silhouette. Be bold with colour and detail to stand out from the crowd and look at silk and chiffon for a luxurious look.


It’s not just about the dress. Accessories play a big part at black tie occasions. Opt for an evening bag of silk, satin or velvet; and choose your jewellery wisely. Think either earrings and bracelets with sparkle, or simple button earrings and a necklace to compliment your look. If you’re wearing a v-neck or scoop neck dress then a strand of beads or pearls will complete your ensemble, but if you’re wearing a strapless gown try a choker or simple silver or gold pendant to complete your look.

To plan your perfect outfit for any black tie occasion, choose from the exclusive Partywear shop from online fashion retailer Kaleidoscope. You’ll find the dress of your dreams, and the ideal accessories to make sure you look great and feel really special at your next black tie event.