Classic Black-Tie Outerwear



While black-tie outerwear etiquette is more a set of guidelines than hard and fast rules, these traditional accompaniments will ensure that a man's winter wrappings harmonize with the formal apparel they are covering. 





The most conventional overcoat for evening dress since the 1930s has been the chesterfield coat.  However, the coat's characteristics are more important than its name because interpretations can vary significantly.  The color should be black, dark blue or oxford gray, the length should be knee length or longer and the model should be single-breasted fly front or double breasted.  A black velvet collar is ideal.


Note that raincoats (a.k.a. trench coats) are not appropriate outerwear for a tuxedo or tailcoat.



Evening Cloak (Obsolete)


The last time evening cloaks were a going concern was in the 1960s when advocates of Austin Powers style menswear argued they were no longer exclusive to white tie and could therefore be worn with tuxedos.  Arguably, etiquette guru Amy Vanderbilt's advice from 1952 remains relevant today: "The black satin-lined evening cape, an elegant garment, is still seen on gentlemen who take their clothes very seriously and who like to keep alive the niceties of Victorian dress."  In other words, it's best left to the eccentrics.



Evening Scarf


The correct formal scarf is one made of white silk with tassels.



The classic outdoor glove for Black Tie is gray chamois, buck or mocha (soft suede leathers made from sheep, deer or goat skin) in either button, snap or slip-on style.  Dressy black leather gloves are also perfectly appropriate.

Indoor gloves are discussed under Classic Accessories.



For men who consider a stylish outfit to be incomplete without accompanying headwear, the black or midnight blue homburg has been the most accepted hat for the dinner jacket since the 1930s.