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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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