The Black Tie Book

I feel I have been neglecting my blog duties recently but I assure formalwear aficionados it’s for a good reason: I have finally got around to writing a book proposal for a print version of The Black Tie Guide.

Back in 2006 when I first conceived of the Guide I was torn between pitching it as a book and posting it as a web site.  When I realized how much work would have to go into a professional book proposal my impatient tendencies won out and I opted for the immediate gratification of an online version.  That choice was the best of both worlds because it allowed me to take as much time as needed write the book while sharing the results of my research as I progressed.  Thanks to the immediate and global reach of the internet I’ve been able to help a countless number of men during the process . . . even if some of the early advice was less than expert.

The only concern I had was that the book would lose its potential value to publishers if its content was freely available to anyone with an internet connection.  However, as the Guide grew to a 90,000-word opus it became clear that the web works best as a quick reference tool.  When it comes to comprehensive reading, sitting back with a traditional printed book will always trump hunching over an eye-straining computer screen.

Furthermore, the Guide’s topic is perfect for a glossy coffee-table book treatment.  What better way to capture the timeless elegance of black-tie charity galas, formal evening weddings and red-carpet glamour?  This is evident in the above mock-ups I created to determine how the web site could best be adapted into an oversized hardcover format.  (It was an interesting process as the unlimited-length,   single-page structure of a web site is quite different from the fixed-length 2-page spread that defines a printed book.)

So, six years after my original dilemma I finally have a proposal ready to be pitched to potential publishers.  I’m glad I waited because I’m in a much better position now thanks to the subsequent success of the Guide which is getting over 55,000 visitors a month, has been cited by other authors and will soon be included in a syllabus for a University course on costume design.  Best of all, a leading menswear authority has endorsed the book. Hopefully this minimize the number of rejection letters that will invariably follow.


Although I have assembled a list of applicable publishers, if you know a non-fiction publisher who would like to issue a bestseller just in time for the Christmas gift-giving season and the global surge of tuxedo interest that will inevitably accompany the release of the next James Bond film in November, please ask them to contact me at peter_at_blacktieguide_dot_com.  The same goes for literary agents or cross-promotional retailers that would like to get in on the action.

Just as importantly, if you are personally interested in buying such a book please indicate so in the comments below.  That’s exactly the kind of sales potential a publisher will be looking for!



An update on this venture can be found in a separate post here.


  1. Rishi

    Sounds fantastic. I’d absolutely love to have a copy, just to display at home.

  2. Roel

    I’ve been following your site and blog for close to two years now, and I would be the first to buy a printed copy!

    Good luck pitching!


  3. Marcus

    I’d buy a copy and lend it to my friends so we could all go galavanting around in black tie.

  4. David V

    Good luck! I love the idea of this as a coffee table book. That is the format it deserves.

  5. Charles

    I would add it to my collection and loan it out to friends.

  6. Serpens Albus

    Very nice! I’d love to have that in my book shelf

  7. Alexander T

    you mean I printed the entire website off for no reason? I’ll buy it!

  8. Gecq

    I would be happy if this project came to life and rest assured I will order a copy or two if available for shipment to Europe. Good luck and fingers crossed.

  9. L.H

    black tie affair are pretty rare on south america but as a “traditional attire fan” i would love to own one.

  10. Hal

    Good idea. You might want to consider expanding the women’s evening wear section to increase the appeal of a book.

    Best of luck.

  11. DHouse02

    I’ll be sure to purchase once it’s available. Great work on the site and the blog. It’s been immensely helpful for a recent graduate transitioning into the workplace and all of the events that come with it.

  12. William D. Wright

    I think that this idea is a Capital idea! For one thing, you can include all of the great vintage advertisements that you have posted throughout all the versions of the web guide (Including the really colorful After Six ads that you have used in the miscall. section) in addition to all of the great advice that the guide contains. Like most of the comments above, I would really be inclined to purchase a first edition copy for the coffee table and it would be referred to quite often.

  13. ismailalmurtadza

    I have not visited this site for almost(I dont when was the last).I even had a few exchange of email with site creator,and suggested that ‘the Black Tie Guide’ should also be in book (though this site may have enlightened many of it’s readers).My hope has materialise.
    I would like to order the 1st.edition.Kindly keep me informed.


  14. Christopher

    I would buy one for myself and multiple others for friends. The Guide has turned me into a rabid black tie evangelist, and I’d love to have quality material to distribute to new converts.

  15. BBT

    Get the book out already!

  16. jovantheun1337

    I’d buy it.

  17. Brandon

    I would gladly buy a Black Tie Guide book if one became available!

  18. Peter

    Yes! But… consider a more modest size. I tend to dump large coffee-table books into Oxfam after a while because they don’t go nicely onto a shelf.

  19. Pierre

    I will buy the book.

  20. Black Tie Fan

    I am absolutely on board with your book. I thought about suggesting the idea just a few weeks ago. I’m actually surprised a black tie guide has not been published yet.

  21. Gecq

    And if you are rich, apply a real barathea layer on the cover. That would be cute! 😉

  22. Luke

    Add another five copies or so to your tally. I want this book, and my friends need this book.

  23. jovantheun1337

    A copy of this book should be mandatory reading for high school seniors prior to picking out their prom attire.

  24. Joe Zasada

    I would be game for one

  25. omschiefslr

    Congratulations! This will be a well recieved publication. Get a great publisher. You deserve it!

  26. William D. Wright

    As many responses as you have had, Mr. Marshall, this should confirm the need for the book to be done! I certainly hope that by December, the Black Tie Guide in book form will be a worthy addition to my shelves. Just keep trying to close a deal and I in the meantime will continue wearing Black Tie the way that it should be, complete with French Cuffs, Studs and a cummerbund and bow tie. In other words, the proper things for Black Tie shirts.

  27. Julio Garrido

    I will pre-order it!

  28. Mike

    I would buy one for me and a bunch more as gifts. This guide has saved me from looking like an idiot at prom, and its a joy to read.

    1. William D. Wright

      Mike, I am happy that you have read The Black Tie Guide! I believe that the book should be given to every Junior and Senior in high school as a gift and the student be required to read it! It’s not only music students (often the first exposure to Formal Wear for males involved with music in chorus, orchestra and band and dressing up for concerts) who need this book, it’s all of them. If the book had been available to me in (1970’s) the dark ages, I might not have made a few mistakes in buying my tuxedos. I’ll admit that for Prom I did follow the rules and my date thought I looked very handsome, but there were still a few things I would have done differently as far my shirt and tux coat that night. I have always had a need for a tuxedo, so renting was totally out of the question for me, but even so, buying a tuxedo makes a lot more sense when you become involved in a lot of activities, not just your Prom. I hope you will see a need for one in college and more importantly, will continue to wear it properly and well. Mr. Marshall’s book is long overdue for every male. Thanks for being an example for your peers and giving me hope that all teens are not sloppy dressers.

  29. William D. Wright

    Hello Black Tie Guy! I think Mike has said it all! And for this reason alone, I believe you need to get the book out mucho pronto! I know I will plan on buying one if for more than a reference, than for sure for the history and importance of men wearing Black Tie Properly. I am hoping that your section on After Six will be a trip through history and very colorful indeed-oops strike that!-since this company deserves a place in the history of Formal Fashion for all of us men. Thanks for keeping up the guide on line and just willing to research all aspects of this dress form for many of us who wear formal clothing regularly or when the time says we need to. Keep the web site going in any case. Thanks!!

  30. Don A.

    I’ll treat it as a Christmas/New Year’s/Graduation/First Paycheck Bonus present for my self!

  31. Gecq

    We haven’t had an update on your print efforts for a while. What is the state of the project? I am still really hoping for a nice and whole monograph on evening wear.

    1. Peter Marshall

      I have received a lot of email recently asking for an update and admit that it’s long overdue. My upcoming post on December 2 will give everyone the latest news.

  32. Gecq


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