Dress the Part: The Guide to Black Tie

Fact: Dress codes can be intimidating. We’re looking at you, black-tie-only wedding invite. But there’s good news. In recent years, black tie has become more relaxed, which means you actually have plenty of options.

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Go For the Gown
Simply put, it’s impossible to overdress for a black-tie event, so don’t be afraid to glam up a floor-length number with plenty of jewelry. If you go for an already embellished style, however, skip the statement jewelry and let the gown speak for itself.

Say Yes to a Cocktail Dress
That’s right. When it comes to black-tie events, short numbers are perfectly acceptable, too. The trick here is to keep the fabric of your dress luxurious – think chiffon and silk – and the length appropriate (thigh high is a no-go).

Always Trust an LBD
If you get a last-minute invite, don’t panic. That little black dress residing in your closet will work just fine. The key: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Add pearls or diamonds, strappy stilettos, and wear your hair in a formal updo. People will think you were invited months ago.

Our Cordially Invited: Formal Dresses & Gowns Boutique opens Thursday, August 22, at 11AM ET.

By Regan Templeton, Staff Writer

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August 22, 2013