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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently came across (on the knot.com) that since it is better to be over dressed than underdressed, one should wear white tie to events specified as black tie. I argued with the poster that I think this is incorrect. Am I correct in assuming that wearing white tie to a black tie event would look out of place and try hard? Thank you gentlemen (and ladies)!
 

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I think you answered your own question. . .
 

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Wearing a white tie should be reserved for wearing tails...wearing tails to a "black tie" event would be considered overdressed...a black tie event means tuxedo in the US...so to answer your question, it would be inappropriate to wear white tie to a black tie event :)
 

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I recently came across (on the knot.com) that since it is better to be over dressed than underdressed
This advice is correct ONLY when dress code is ambiguous (either on invitation or verbally). And ambiguity of this kind is very common, nowadays.

If the dress code is clearly specified, one should dress exactly at the level specified.
Since "black tie" is very well defined standard, one should dress in black tie, not white tie (or anything else).

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Depends on the situation. If it's a small, private event or dinner, and your host or hostess has clearly specified black tie, it would be bad form to wear white tie.

However, if a dress code is ambiguous, then as a general rule, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. For example, does anyone really know what is meant by "casual" or "business casual" or "informal" anymore? I don't. Better to err on the side of caution and be slightly overdressed. Perhaps local communities or offices have their own understandings of those terms, but there's no national standard. In contrast, "black tie" on an invitation is very specific. It would be bad form to make a habit of always wearing white tie to events that are specified as black tie.

You could wear white tie, for example, to a black tie New Year's party in a large downtown ballroom with hundreds of guests. I don't see any problem with that.
 

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I recently came across (on the knot.com) that since it is better to be over dressed than underdressed, one should wear white tie to events specified as black tie. I argued with the poster that I think this is incorrect. Am I correct in assuming that wearing white tie to a black tie event would look out of place and try hard? Thank you gentlemen (and ladies)!
It may be different on that side of the pond, but over here it doesn't depend on the situation at all or on any alternative interpretations of what it says on the invite. Over here in Yourp:icon_smile_wink: on invites specifying formal eveningwear, if it says white tie you wear white tie, if it says black tie you wear black tie, if it says jacket & tie you don't wear a jacket & tie you wear a lounge suit, if it says mess dress you wear mess dress and civvies wear black tie.

White tie at a black tie event would make you look like a pianist booked for the evening!
 

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I recently came across (on the knot.com) that since it is better to be over dressed than underdressed, one should wear white tie to events specified as black tie. I argued with the poster that I think this is incorrect. Am I correct in assuming that wearing white tie to a black tie event would look out of place and try hard? Thank you gentlemen (and ladies)!
Assuming the invitation says "black tie" then white-tie-and-tails/evening formal jest ain't right....
 

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As the answer to an ambiguous dress code, white tie is the ultimate step up from black tie, and a step people can rarely make even if they understand what it is. Calling for dress-code clarification seems the first logical step in such a situation. Without that step I'd vote against white tie, particularly if black tie is specified.

On the other hand, conditions that might support it are:

- The nature of the host, function, and guests allowing for the ultra-formality
- That type of event traditionally called for white tie

I don't mind pushing the envelope a little if it works within those bounds. If they are formal enough to send out a real invitation and specify black tie, that would push me away from white tie, but again, it isn't necessarily out of the question if within the conditions above.
 

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If the invitation states black tie, white tie is inappropriate. Period.

Theknot is hardly a good source of style advice, unless you're looking for gems like:
Our pick: When the sun is still up, you're allowed to loosen the rules. Go for a black tuxedo (or a very dark suit) over a tone-on-tone shirt set, such as a gray oxford and a long platinum tie (blues, greens, and purples look great too). That splash of monochromatic color looks crisp and finished but adds just a touch of irreverence.
or
If you choose a black tie and black vest, you could put the groomsmen in a color that matches the bridesmaid dresses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Believe me- there will not be vests at my wedding (gag!). I came across a poster espousing that one should always wear white tie and tried in vain to correct her- I've given up- I knew I was right, you gentlemen proved that (thank you!) and I'm done over there- their advice is the sort of which one finds from tuxedo rental companies and Davids Bridal. Thanks again! :icon_smile:
 
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