Home » From Runway To Red Carpet: A Guide To Black Tie Dress Code For Women

From Runway To Red Carpet: A Guide To Black Tie Dress Code For Women

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5-course meals. Ballroom waltzes. And bottomless champagne. These are simply a few of the issues to anticipate out of your subsequent black tie occasion. 

However first, you need to make an entrance. 

And in case you’re but to attend certainly one of these high-society soirees (or maybe one of many unique occasions in a billionaire’s social calendar), the black tie costume code can rival the black gap in its means to confuse and confound, while it concurrently tops black ice in terror stakes. 

Effectively, fortunate you, we’ve put collectively the final word information to a black tie costume code for ladies that tells you every thing there’s to know. Our first rule: you don’t have to put on black. Our second rule: watch your sneakers. The best option to make an (undesirable) entrance is to interrupt an ankle or teeter your approach down the pink carpet. Should you haven’t but discovered to stroll in stilettos, go for one thing equally refined however simpler to stroll in. After all, there are a lot of different methods to impress in black tie apparel, all of which we’ve rigorously collated into one complete black tie fashion information. Hold studying to wow your MIL (mother-in-law) and pay respect to the host. 

However what about him? Our fashion guides for males—from cocktail apparel to black tie—have gotten the boys in your life coated too. 

What’s Black-Tie apparel? 

One notch down from white tie, black tie is society’s second most formal costume code. And whereas it stays fairly simple for males (a basic dinner jacket will do), it may be barely extra daunting for ladies because the stakes are fairly excessive. Ladies often put on sweeping floor-length night robes in jewel tones, accented by bedazzled clutches, heels and treasured gems. Nonetheless, within the twenty-first century, a sublime go well with is deemed equally acceptable for a lot of black tie events. And for some, even a dressy cocktail costume will be thought-about formal sufficient, supplied that it’s suitably accessorized and never too quick. Our high tip: don’t overthink it and use it as an excuse to go large. 

What does “Black Tie Non-compulsory” imply?

You possibly can go all out with a sweeping floor-length ball robe. Or you could possibly name upon that extravagant mini you’ve been dying to put on. Principally, “black tie elective” permits for a level of flexibility and ease in comparison with conventional black tie apparel, but maintains the next stage of sophistication than semi-formal costume codes. 

The purpose remains to be to seem elegant and acceptable, however perhaps with out showing overly glamorous, as if attending an Oscars occasion. If unsure, an ankle-grazing costume paired with excessive heels and assertion jewellery is a failsafe. It strikes the right steadiness between refined and relaxed and also you gained’t have to fret about wanting over or underdressed.

women black tie attire guide when to wear - Luxe Digital

When to put on Black Tie apparel: Costume for the event 

There’ll all the time be clues—with the most important being the precise invitation—though not all of them are as simple to identify. Right here’s how we determine when to put on black tie apparel when the invitation doesn’t stipulate particularly: 

  1. Venue: If the occasion is being held at a flowery location, black-tie apparel is often a protected guess. 
  2. Host & Visitor Checklist: All of us have these pals that reside by a extra is extra mentality, in the event that they’re the hosts or make up nearly all of the visitor listing, you’ll possible slot in carrying an elaborate ball robe. 
  3. Sort of Occasion: Awards ceremonies, milestone birthdays, grandiose weddings and charity balls often name for black tie apparel. 
  4. Season: What you’re anticipated to put on to a winter black tie affair in comparison with a summer time black tie affair will all the time differ. 
women black tie attire guide dos and donts - Luxe Digital

Black tie apparel: Model ideas 

The do’s and don’ts of black tie: a excessive stakes affair. 

Black tie apparel don’ts

  1. Don’t take the costume code too actually: Whereas black is nice, it’s not your solely choice.
  2. Don’t expose an excessive amount of: Brief hems, plunging necklines and exposing materials are greatest saved for extra informal events. 
  3. Don’t put on loud prints: Except your host particularly says in any other case, you’re a lot safer with monochrome ensembles. 
  4. Don’t put on sneakers: Nope, by no means. Or sandals, for that matter. Should you’re determined to put on flats, be sure they’re formal pumps. 
  5. Don’t neglect your outerwear: Swop out that run-of-the-mill trench for an Previous World Hollywood fake fur coat.
  6. Don’t put on cheesy style jewellery: As an alternative, get out these household heirlooms. 
  7. Don’t carry an enormous bag: As sensible as they might be, outsized totes are out for black tie apparel.
  8. Don’t neglect grooming: Nothing ruins a black tie outfit like a nasty hair day or chipped nails. 

Black tie apparel do’s

  1. Go Full-Size: That is your alternative to deliver out the ball robes and elaborate floor-length clothes which can be saved for particular events.
  2. Select top quality, sustainable materials: Silks, satins and velvets are inherently elegant and refined, even higher in the event that they’re manufactured with the planet in thoughts.
  3. Darkish, wealthy hues: Black and jewel tones are a failsafe for black tie affairs.
  4. Classical silhouettes: Prioritize a timeless aesthetic over on-trend, avant-garde designs. 
  5. Assertion jewellery: Valuable gems, crystals and rhinestones are inspired. Don’t maintain again—so long as it’s tasteful. 
  6. Heels: Should you can stroll effortlessly in hovering stilettos, there’s no cause to maintain them within the closet. In any other case, formal block heels, wedges and kitten heels will do the trick. 
  7. A clutch purse: A sequinned rendition is even higher. 
  8. Model your hair: There’s no must attempt for a “I awakened like this aesthetic,” glam it up with a sublime updo or radiant curls.
  9. Make-up: Apply pure make-up that enhances your options with out showing overly dramatic. 

Ladies’s Black Tie apparel outfits

From floor-sweeping silhouettes to elegant fits, there are extra methods than one to stun on the subsequent black tie occasion. 

Formal (flooring size) night robes

Formal night robes are the preferred black-tie apparel selection. Go for full-length silhouettes that sweep the ground. Spend money on luxurious materials similar to satins, silks and velvets and don’t shrink back from elaborate accents similar to sequins, beads or rhinestones. With regards to selecting a colour, black is sort of all the time acceptable. Jewel tones (similar to navy, burgundy and teal) are additionally effortlessly refined and will be worn to enrich your distinct options. Whereas show-stopping metallics are a unbelievable option to make an announcement whereas sustaining an everlasting class. 

women black tie attire guide alex perry dalton ruched stretch jersey gown - Luxe Digital
Alex Perry

jersey robe

women black tie attire guide dolce gabbana sequined gown - Luxe Digital
Dolce Gabbana

Sequined robe

women black tie attire guide michelle mason bias cut cowl neck gown - Luxe Digital
Michelle Mason

cowl neck robe

women black tie attire guide oscar de la renta cape effect stretch silk crepe gown - Luxe Digital
Oscar De La Renta

silk robe

Ball robes

We love the excuse to embrace the glamor of a black tie affair and nothing does that higher than an elaborate ball robe. What distinguishes a ball robe from different formal, floor-length night robes? Ball robes are usually characterised by a full, voluminous skirt that extends to the ground. And worn to occasions like galas, grand social events, and naturally balls, ball robes are sometimes much more elaborate than different formal clothes. Search for opulent particulars like layers of tulle and complicated beading to make an entrance (in all the correct methods.)

women black tie attire guide valentino garavani open back pleated duchesse satin gown - Luxe Digital
Valentino Garavani

satin robe

women black tie attire guide jenny packham bow dress - Luxe Digital
Jenny Packham

bow costume

women black tie attire guide rebecca vallance cherie amour strapless gown - Luxe Digital
Rebecca Vallance

tulle robe

women black tie attire guide alessandra rich velvet long evening dress - Luxe Digital
Alessandra Wealthy

velvet costume

Dressy cocktail clothes

Whereas dressy cocktail clothes aren’t the norm for black tie occasions, they definitely aren’t taboo—in case you fashion them appropriately, that’s. As a result of cocktail clothes are sometimes extra informal than formal, floor-length robes, it’s much more vital to pay cautious consideration to particulars. Think about A-line or fit-and-flare midis which can be flattering and acceptable. Persist with basic colours like black, navy, jewel tones, or metallic shades. And pair it with heels and an embellished clutch.

women black tie attire guide galvan pandora satin midi dress - Luxe Digital

satin costume

women black tie attire guide alex perry vander cape effect satin crepe midi dress - Luxe Digital
Alex Perry

crepe costume

women black tie attire guide jacquemus la robe alca dress - Luxe Digital

alca costume

women black tie attire guide paco rabanne metallic midi dress - Luxe Digital
Paco Rabanne

Metallic costume

Elegant fits

If clothes aren’t your factor, a sublime go well with will also be worn appropriately for black tie occasions. However you’ll need to be very thought-about along with your go well with selection and styling. We’re not speaking concerning the form of go well with that you just put on within the boardroom. These are often much more stiff and business-like. To make your go well with extra dressy and stylish, go for glamorous materials similar to satins and velvets. With regards to match, a flowy reduce provides a female contact, whereas a extra tailor-made rendition is of course extra formal.

women black tie attire guide saint laurent tuxedo trousers - Luxe Digital
Saint Laurent

tuxedo trousers

women black tie attire guide nili lotan marshal silk satin blazer - Luxe Digital
Nili Lotan

velvet blazer

women black tie attire guide gucci wool mohair jacket - Luxe Digital

mohair jacket

women black tie attire guide giorgio armani embellished silk satin wrap blazer - Luxe Digital
Giorgio Armani

wrap blazer

Formal sneakers

With regards to black tie apparel, heels are nearly all the time inspired. However earlier than signing off on a pair of hovering stilettos, familiarize your self with the venue. Be aware of the bottom floor—gravel, pavement, grass, or parquet flooring. Think about the paths you’ll be strolling all through the night and plan accordingly to keep away from discomfort or potential injury to your stilettos (or your self.) Taking off your sneakers to bounce can be often frowned upon, so in case you can’t dance in them, go for a pair that’s nonetheless refined however barely extra comfy. We’re pondering one thing like embellished satin slingbacks or mesh lace Manolos.

women black tie attire guide gucci gg slingback pump - Luxe Digital

slingback pump

women black tie attire guide manolo blahnik crystal mules - Luxe Digital
Manolo Blahnik

satin mules

women black tie attire guide mgemi the mia due 90mm - Luxe Digital

the mia

women black tie attire guide aquazzura bow tie pumps - Luxe Digital

bow tie pumps

Elegant jewellery and equipment

Don’t underestimate the facility of these household heirlooms. They might simply elevate your minimalist midi to black tie standing. Black tie occasions are inherently glamorous, so in case your ensemble is on the easy aspect, we recommend enhancing it with an announcement piece. Add some sparkle with a rhinestone-adorned collar. Make an announcement with uncommon gems. Or draw consideration to your face (and completely executed make-up) with exaggerated waterfall earrings. So long as they praise your outfit and don’t overpower it, outsized items are inspired for ladies’s black tie apparel. 

women black tie attire guide swarovski millenia drop earrings - Luxe Digital

millenia earrings

women black tie attire guide linjer tennis bracelet - Luxe Digital

tennis bracelet

women black tie attire guide swarovski attract trilogy round pierced earrings - Luxe Digital

spherical earrings

women black tie attire guide linjer 14k gold ring - Luxe Digital

solitaire ring


Decorate your black tie apparel with a sublime and complex bag. A smooth clutch in satin or velvet is a well-liked selection. A structured field bag with a high deal with or chain strap is equally modern. Whereas an embellished night bag is nice for including sparkle. Select a compact measurement that holds your necessities with out being cumbersome. And go for timeless colours like black or metallic tones. Alternatively, a handy crossbody can also be appropriate, simply don’t go for something too cumbersome or slouchy. 

women black tie attire guide emmy london natasha luxe digital
Emmy London


women black tie attire guide kaai mini arch black - Luxe Digital

mini arch

women black tie attire guide manolo blahnik capri crystal velvet clutch - Luxe Digital
Manolo Blahnik

velvet clutch

women black tie attire guide bottega veneta leather clutch - Luxe Digital
Bottega Veneta

leather-based clutch

Black tie apparel colours 

Do you have to put on black or is that simply within the identify? First up, whereas we’re large advocates of black satins and sequins for black tie occasions, carrying black isn’t a prerequisite.

Though to attain the extent of sophistication and ritual required for black tie hues, it’s all the time greatest to think about darker, richer hues similar to:

  1. Black: Because the epitome of timeless class, black is all the time a protected and classy selection for a black tie occasion. It’s a basic colour that may be worn in numerous types and silhouettes.
  2. Navy: A regal navy blue is a much less stark various to black and higher fits chilly pores and skin tones. 
  3. Jewel Tones: Deep, wealthy jewel tones like emerald inexperienced, sapphire blue, ruby pink, or amethyst purple could make a daring assertion at a black tie occasion. These colours add an opulent and regal contact to your ensemble.
  4. Impartial Tones: Impartial colours similar to ivory, champagne, or taupe tackle understated class. They supply a delicate and complex backdrop, permitting your equipment or silhouette to face out.
  5. Metallics: Silver, gold, or bronze metallic shades are undeniably glamorous while nonetheless sustaining an air of sophistication. 

Finally, the most effective colour to put on to a black tie occasion will depend on your private fashion and preferences. Select a colour that makes you are feeling assured and enhances your complexion. For extra on methods to accomplish this, see our fashion information to paint matching. 

The place to purchase black tie apparel outfits


As certainly one of our greatest web sites for ladies, Luisaviaroma is certainly one of our favourite digital locations for designer clothes, together with elaborate ball robes, floor-sweeping formal clothes, and tailor-made fits. Housing famend manufacturers, similar to Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace, you possibly can store with confidence figuring out that something handpicked (with Italian aptitude) by Luisaviaroma is sure to be a showstopper, whereas sustaining that quintessential black tie class. 


Web-a-Porter is a widely known vacation spot for designer manufacturers and our go-to for ladies’s black tie apparel. From Isabel Marant to Chloe to The Row, these are the sorts of designers you anticipate to see on the pink carpet. And these are the sorts of designers you’ll wish to flick through when deciding on your subsequent black tie ball robe or figure-hugging satin maxi. 


It’s not troublesome to nail the black tie costume code with Farfetch in your aspect. Housing over 300 designer boutiques, the famend e-retailer has one thing for everybody and each event—together with these (terrifying) black tie occasions. Farfetch’s curated choice showcases a formidable array of polished fits, embellished ball robes and beautiful cocktail clothes, all of that are good for scintillating at that charity gala or milestone birthday. 

Ceaselessly requested questions on a black tie costume code

What is women costume code for black tie?

For women, the costume code for a black tie occasion usually requires formal floor-length robes, refined cocktail clothes, or elegant separates. Select refined materials, tasteful necklines, and complement the outfit with trendy equipment. Purpose for a elegant and glamorous look that adheres to the formal nature of the occasion.

Can a girl put on a brief costume to a black tie occasion?

Ground-length robes are the standard selection for black tie occasions, however a tasteful and complex quick costume, similar to a proper cocktail costume, will be acceptable for much less formal black tie occasions.

What to not put on to a black tie occasion?

Something informal or revealing isn’t thought-about acceptable black tie apparel. Keep away from relaxed materials similar to cottons and linens. And keep away from quick hems, plunging necklines and clear supplies. Informal footwear, similar to sneakers and sandals, can be an enormous no, as are outsized, slouchy purses

Can I put on a go well with to a black tie occasion as a girl?

Sure, as a girl, you possibly can put on a go well with to a black tie occasion. Go for a sublime and well-tailored go well with in an opulent cloth like silk, satin or velvet. Select a go well with with a proper reduce and pair it with a costume shirt or a silk shirt. Full the look with refined equipment like heels, assertion jewellery, and a night clutch bag.

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