By general definition, black tie is a sort of dress code of formal wear more especially for attending evening events and social functions which can be ascribed back to British and American costume conventions of 19th century. This semi-formal dress code is usually worn for particular events only after 6 p.m. Why it is classified as semi-formal? Black tie dresses can be said less formal than white tie and more formal than many other informal dresses or business dress.
As previously stated, black tie dresses are traditionally worn only after six o’clock in the evening, or after sundown during winter months. It is common to see people wearing black tie in private and public dinners, balls, and parties. More precisely, there are some occasions or social events which require these types of black tie dress codes.
Even though today’s dark lounge suit is acceptable, however black tie dresses traditionally had to be worn to the opera. For example, English country house opera like Glyndebourne is more expected to call for black tie. Ballet or orchestra galas also oblige this black tie dress code.
Black tie dresses is called for the dress code during formal dinners on cruise ships. As an example, Cunard notable ship cruise has relaxed its adherence to formal dress codes and in 2015 they requires dinner jacket, a dark suit, formal national dress or military uniform for gentlemen formal evening diners.
Prior to the late 1930s, black tie dresses were discouraged as too informal for evening wedding occasions. However, in the last few decades, there are increasing trends of seeing this dress code in the United States during formal wedding day to replace traditional morning dress. For example, in England and Wales, black tie is seldom worn at church weddings or civil ceremonies as morning dress or a lounge suit.