We Decoded What Black-Tie Formal Wear Really Means (and What to Wear)

When it comes to formal dress codes, knowing what’s okay and not okay to wear often eludes us. What dress length is appropriate for a black-tie invitation? Do I need to wear black? When is the right time to err on the side of classic versus more trend-forward? We all face these uncertainties and more when getting dressed for any type of black-tie event that warrants formal wear.

The truth is that as invitations these days are much more varied, there is no one standard to approaching black-tie formal wear. Instead, you might encounter a number of “black tie” occasions that warrant a spectrum of dress codes. From standard black tie to black-tie creative, we’re breaking down the details you need to know when getting dressed for any type of formal event.

Read on to see the celebrity-inspired looks that fit the bill for every variation of black-tie formal wear.