The Black Tie Guide: Now With 50% More Visitors!


It’s been a year since I last reviewed traffic statistics for The Black Tie Guide so I thought I’d take a look at what’s been happening since then.

The most dramatic change is the amount of traffic, climbing from a previous all-time high of 55,000 monthly visitors to a new milestone of 81,000 visitors per month. That really blows my mind considering that the site has remained virtually unchanged for the past two years.

And what are those visitors looking for? Black tie etiquette. Even more than before, the most popular search terms leading people to the site and the most popular pages on the site point to a very specific interest in the dress code rather a general interest in the tuxedo. This indicates to me that in spite of our informal society this formal dress code remains a going concern in many people’s lives.

Not surprisingly the top geographic sources of this traffic remains constant: 50% are from the US, 17% are from the UK, 5.5% from Australia and just over 4% are from Canada.

In breaking down the US and UK demographics, the gender split for both went from an even split to a slight male majority and the proportion of readers without kids at home in each country is even greater than the year prior. Unchanged is the fact that the UK audience continues to skew a little younger and a little more affluent than the US. One new statistic I noticed this year was that 67% of American visitors have a university or grad school education versus 58% of British visitors.

As for the blog, it continues to attract people more interested in current trends than traditional etiquette. Of the 10 most popular posts, four are related to red carpet ceremonies and three to James Bond.

As I was compiling these statistics it occurred to me that last month was the fifth anniversary of the Guide’s first edition.  It’s been very satisfying to watch my little project take on a life of its own and I look forward to seeing what the next five years have in store!


  1. Hal

    Congratulations. I am slightly puzzled, however.

    I can see how you know what queries led people to your site and where roughly they come from but I’m puzzled as to how you can tell the proportion of visitors who have children at home or have been to university. Or am I just really naive? Does the internet know everything about me?

    1. Peter Marshall

      That info comes from Quantcast. Apparently they track individuals who visit the websites in their network, build a profile of each person’s browsing habits and then extrapolate demographics. Exactly how they do this is a well-kept secret!

  2. William Wright

    Congratulations on the five-year anniversary! I am happy that dressing in Black Tie is not a lost art, but do wish more men would adopt it. I don’t know if the Internet knows all, but I do know that you, sir, have done all of us a great service in bringing us this valuable guide. Now, when will the book come out? I’m anxiously awaiting having all of this information in one easily available and accessible spot; after all one cannot be expected to be connected to the computer 24/7 can they? Congratulations from one Black tie wearing man to another.

    1. Anonymous

      Wearing in a dress code is easy. I find infinitely more difficult to wear casual.

  3. RPC

    Many, many congratulations. The Guide is, to be frank, a triumph, and your continued dedication to the blog and to maintaining the Guide is laudable. Well done, and thank you.

    1. William Wright

      I dare say, Mr. Marshall, if you have that many ‘hits’ on both the guide and the blog, the book will be very well received. I also suspect that if I can afford ten of them when published, I’d keep one for me and donate the other nine to some very mis-informed tuxedo rental shops here in Spokane. Something tells me that the rental side of Black Tie has needed help for years. At least when I purchased my new Giorgio Fiorelli (not sure of the spelling on that one) tuxedo about two months ago, the firm I purchased it from listened to me and got this tuxedo exactly right. They also recently opened up a new section that does sell suits for daytime and in this case the care they take shows through. Cody’s store is not who I’m worried about; it’s all the other ones in this town who seem to think the idea of a tux means all of the wrong things as you so pointed out when you started the guide. I suspect that it’s anything to get the party in the door, get the bucks and then fit the guy in whatever seems right to them, not the client. So, in my case, I knew what I had to have and got it (although it took time to pay for it all). The payoff with this tux was when I wore it to the first concert after it was purchased and many ladies looked it over and told their husbands, “If he can look this good, then you should be breaking your tuxedo out and wearing it here, darling.” (Or other adjectives appropriate) So, like you’ve been saying and all 81, 000+ of us readers know, the appropriate tuxedo will go far in showing how classy a gentleman can be. Again, congratulations on a great source of information for all gentlemen everywhere.

  4. omschiefslr

    Congratulations, Peter! You are the worlds foremost authority on Black Tie. Thank you for your guidance over the past three years since I have discovered the Guide and Blog.

  5. Carol Still

    I’m sorry but I simply can’t believe there are more Aussies interested in Black Tie than Canadians! And that’s coming from an Aussie. (Maybe I’ve visited the site so many times that it has skewed the statistics). Peter, thanks to you, my husband is the best dressed (one could say, the only correctly dressed) man at our twice yearly black tie Epicurean dinners that have been running for the past 26 years. And my teenage son is set for the next decade, as when it came to his school Formal (Prom), having read your particular aversion to “Prom attire” I invested in a classic peak lapel dinner suit, which although expensive, was the equivalent to hiring an incorrect outfit three times (he’s already worn it twice in 2 months so it will pay for itself quite quickly). It even earned him a nomination for best dressed, but he lost out to a guy in a blue suit with a tie pin – but that’s teenagers for you. It has also inspired me to apply many of your principles – classic and understated style rather than bold and showy, black patent shoes and clutch, when choosing what I will wear, even though as a woman I have far more scope and leniency. The site is a wonderful reference tool, even if others do complain that it has turned me into a Black Tie snob.

    PS Thanks also for going to the effort of including Aussie terminology.

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