Black-Tie Dresses: The Rules, Regs and Best to Buy Now

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that shopping for a black-tie dress is quite an exciting prospect. The introduction of this dress code to any event spells the message out loud and clear: Make an effort. And any girl who likes getting dressed up can really go to town when that kind of invite arrives with a gleeful thud on the doormat.

While the requirements of the black-tie dress code do mean that your choice needs to have a modicum of respectability (this is not the chance to go crazy with cutouts or aim for a really short hemline), here is your big excuse to bust out the bold colour, fire up the ruffles, do a smash and grab on the sequins, unleash your inner lamé addict, brave something backless, go va-va-voom in velvet and, well, I think you get it. This year, more than any other, the concept of outgoing eveningwear has been wholeheartedly supported by designers, buyers and high-street stores.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

This is no lame attempt to look fancy. The best black-tie dresses of 2017 have "I'VE ENTERED THE ROOM" writ large. So keep on reading to shop from my current 17 favourites—make sure you've got a showstopper for that next major event in the calendar.

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Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.