|From Black Tie Guide|
In Not all black and white, Afsun Qureshi gives a sophisticated account of how to interpret these deceptively simple sounding dress codes. I will add a few words here.
Qureshi explains that black/white tie doesn't mean that women should wear only black or white dresses, that these codes are a lot looser in relation to women's wear. This is because the dress codes come from a society when men went out dining and socialising together, leaving the little woman at home while they had a good time - often with some other little woman with a very loose idea of dress codes.
Black tie was what was worn for dinner out with the boys. White tie was for going to balls and the opera to cruise a likely heir-bearer. White tie was usually worn with tails and a top hat while black tie was less formal (bwah ha ha!)
I once had the privilege of going to a ball with a highly sophisticated young man who had realised that the tails of his coat formed pockets which were ideal for storing our cigarettes in and so he didn't have an unsightly bulge in his trouser pocket. (I think he was just pleased to see me.) In case you're wondering, no of course the cigarettes weren't squashed when he sat down because when you sit down in tails, you swing them to the sides of your muscular thighs with a manly swish.
|Yes, thank you very much|
You can go now.
For the ladies, you can wear what you like as long as it's chic. (Um, OK, perhaps I shouldn't have worn that dress with the split up the skirt to my stocking top to that particular dinner at the Oxbridge College which I will write more about for those doing stories set in such milieu.)
A long dress is best for a white tie event and a cocktail dress for a black tie event.
|A little black dress can be worn anywhere. |
(Photo at Glitterazi.)
|Karen Millen cocktail dress.|
|Melissa McCarthy in Marina Rinaldi|
at the Oscars