There has been a lot of confusion about dress codes in Pakistan, mostly because we have recently started having events that have dress code printed on them. Before this it was usually formal when you called and asked the hosts what to wear. Also nothing is more embarrassing than being an inappropriately dressed guest at an event, consider being overdressed because that is relatively okay but never be under-dressed.
here is a simple guide to explaining what is black tie and what’s not!
Black tie in dictionary implies that tuxedo is to be worn, or a dinner jacket with formal trousers. What a tuxedo entails is another subject that needs further clarification but it is a dark colored formal suit distinguished primarily by satin/silk facings on the jacket’s lapels and buttons and a similar stripe along the ‘outseam’ of the trousers. The jacket (or the coat as we call it in Pakistan) usually has shawl collar or peaked lapel among other things.We in Pakistan somehow seem to confuse black tie with formal wear aka business attire. But it is important distinction to make between all these and other codes like white tie etc. Also these days ‘black tie optional‘ and ‘black tie preferred‘ terms have let go of some of these elements of Victorian Era.
A black tie dress code requires the guests to wear the above mentioned attire, usually accompanied with a wing collar or a turn down collar and bow tie. Another important aspect of the black tie dress code is the choice of shirt color, no matter if you a flaming rockstar or religious Jamati you are required to wear a white plain shirt. The suit jacket always has to be single breasted with one or at max two buttons. Also the pants are not supposed to have belt loops or cuffs. Historically men used to wear court shoes with tuxedos, but nowadays a simple black Oxford lace-ups are the acceptable variety. Choose not to go towards colorful accessories like pocket squares and bow ties and keep everything in muted tones if not black/midnight blue.
Lastly I would ask all the readers to follow English royalty rather than your favorite Bollywood or Hollywood stars on red carpets to decipher and hopefully imitate what to wear to a black tie event thanks. And for the love of God, notched lapel business suit is not black tie and yes black tie doesn’t mean you are supposed to wear a black tie, it most means a bow tie if you may!