By Jack McInally
With a lack of regular occasions to suit up in Black Tie these days, it's a dress code we hardly make use for in this world of camouflage skinny fit joggers and long line t-shirts with zips up the back.
The tux or dinner jacket (or DJ if you're ritzy) is your biggest investment. It differs from a usual suit jacket as a contrasting material is used for the lapel, usually a silk or similar material, which stands outs. Quality DJ's can be expensive but a jacket that fits and is well made can last you years.
A white dress shirt is a must in completing this unique look. You can splash out on a wing collar front pleated shirt if you must, but a turn down collared, classic slim fit white shirt is often more stylish and can be worn to other, more relaxed occasions. Complete the look with a bow tie and simple but elegant cuff links - black, white or silver.
The Bow Tie
You'll read a lot of blogs that say "Learn how to tie a bow tie!!!" but unless you're James Bond or Colton Haynes a clip round bow tie looks just as dapper and saves you time when you're waiting on your limo (or more likely Uber).
Black, of course, and skinny or slim fit depending on your preference. Your shirt should be tucked in with a smart plain black belt - there's nothing more tasteless than a MOSCHINO belt buckle hiding your waist.
Footwear is probably the second most important feature after the DJ. Strictly black dress shoes should be worn. However, depending on the occasion brown smart shoes can often look classier at more relaxed events. And as with the DJ, you get what you pay for with shoes, and it's worth the investment.
A Waist Coat
A three piece adds that extra part of elegance to any black tie event, plus you can take off your DJ and still look 10/10.
A black or midnight blue velvet DJ can look very cool, as long as it fits right. It stands out and is popular as it has a kind of vintage look. However, it goes without saying that you should keep the velvet to the jacket and wear black trousers - not an entire velvet get up.
Traditionally wearing a time piece at a black tie event was considered insulting to the host, as keeping an eye on the time went against the celebratory nature of such events. However, it's now 2017, and checking the time on your wrist is more elegant than on a 7 inch phone screen. Keep your watch slim, black, and the face as basic as possible - again MOSCHINO...nope.
Because why not.
Keep your phone and wallet in your DJ pocket, not your trousers. It looks bad and scuffs the outside of your pockets. Shine ya shoes. And finally, don't stress.
To find some outfit examples from our previous shows, please visit out photo albums on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/GUCharityFashionShow/photos/?ref=page_internal