How to Accessorize Yourself for a Black-Tie Event

by jacky chou
Updated on

A black-tie event is a grand occasion that demands elegance, sophistication, and attention to detail in every aspect of your appearance. While the classic black tuxedo or formal gown serves as the foundation, it's the accessories that elevate your look from ordinary to extraordinary. Such carefully chosen elements can make or break your ensemble, ensuring you stand out for all the right reasons.

In this article, we will explore how you can accessorize yourself for a black-tie event and stand out from the crowd.

The Classic Bow Tie

Let's start with one of the most iconic accessories for men at a black-tie event – the bow tie. While a necktie is a fine choice, a black-tie event demands a level of formality that only a well-tied bow tie can deliver. British GQ goes as far as saying that bow ties are a must for any sort of black-tie event. 

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Opt for a silk or satin bow tie in black or deep. Rich colors like burgundy or navy add a touch of subtle individuality to your ensemble. Ensure it's properly tied and adjusted to sit snugly against your shirt collar, creating a polished and dapper look.

Elegant Evening Clutch

For women attending a black-tie event, the right handbag can be a game-changer. Instead of your everyday bag, choose an elegant evening clutch that complements your outfit and adds a touch of sophistication.

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Go for materials like satin, velvet, or metallic finishes, and look for a design that matches the color palette and style of your gown. A well-chosen clutch not only serves as a functional accessory but also adds a refined and polished finish to your overall look.

Statement Cufflinks

Cufflinks are more than just functional fasteners. They are miniature works of art that can add a touch of personal style to your attire. The Art of Manliness recommends wearing classic designs, featuring precious metals like gold or silver, for black-tie events. The cufflinks can also be adorned with gemstones or intricate patterns.

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These small details may seem inconspicuous, but they can make a significant impact when you're shaking hands, raising a glass, or striking a pose. The right pair of cufflinks can tell a story and reveal your attention to detail.

Dazzling Jewelry

Jewelry is where you can truly showcase your personality and elevate your black-tie ensemble. For women, statement pieces like chandelier earrings, a diamond necklace, or a bold cocktail ring can add an element of glamor and luxury. Keep in mind that less is often more in this context. Thus, choose one or two standout pieces that complement your gown without overwhelming it.

Men, on the other hand, can opt for understated yet sophisticated accessories like a sleek watch, cufflinks, and a tie pin. These accessories should coordinate with the color and style of your tuxedo, providing a subtle touch of refinement.

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If you really want to stand out from the rest of the guests, opt for a gemstone piece, like a diamond ring. However, don’t just go for a plain white or colorless piece. Instead, get a diamond with a fancy color, like black. 

A round black diamond ring distinguishes itself from the classic white ones due to its color. At the same time, black diamonds can also act as a symbol of elitism and power. Therefore, if you’re aiming for that sort of appeal, black diamond rings and jewelry pieces are the way to go. 

Based on the carat size and clarity, prices of black diamonds vary. According to Leibish, their prices can be between $2,200 and $70,000. Rest assured, if you’re looking for black diamonds, you’ll surely find something out there that matches both your taste and budget. 

The Perfect Shoes

Footwear is an often overlooked but crucial aspect of accessorizing for a black-tie event. For men, a pair of well-polished black patent leather shoes is a classic choice that pairs seamlessly with a tuxedo. Make sure they are comfortable and fit well, as you'll be on your feet for extended periods.

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Women have more flexibility when it comes to shoes but should still aim for elegance and comfort. Consider strappy heels, satin pumps, or even jeweled flats that match your gown and allow you to dance the night away without discomfort. 

Ensure your shoes are in pristine condition and free from scuffs or marks to maintain the overall polished look. According to The Spruce, when cleaning your shoes, avoid over-wetting the surface. When scrubbing the shoes, be as gentle as possible and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.


Accessorizing for a black-tie event is an art that allows you to express your style while adhering to the event's formal dress code. From classic bow ties to dazzling jewelry, these accessories play a pivotal role in enhancing your overall look. 

Don't underestimate the impact of these carefully chosen details. They can make you the star of the evening and ensure you leave a lasting impression at any black-tie event. 

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jacky chou


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