Black Tie, Tuxedo & White Tie Glossary

Homburg - The classic Evening Hat for a Tuxedo - note it does not have the pinch of a Lords Hat.

Simply click the links in the list below to learn more about the Black Tie terms.

Attached Collar

White attached wing collar shirt with pleated front

White attached wing collar shirt with pleated front

a shirt collar that is permanently attached to the shirt; can be turndown, wing or band collar; compare with detachable collar.

Band Collar

Band collar shirt are very informal and not suitable for black tie

Band collar shirt are very informal and not suitable for black tie

a fashion-forward shirt collar that stands upright and encircles the neck in a band; a popular formal shirt alternative in the 1990s usually with a decorative “button cover” over the top button; not proper black tie; compare with turndown collar and wing collar

Barathea

a fine textured worsted fabric that has a broken rib weave and a pebbly texture; used primarily in wool for evening clothes and silk for Neckwear and Cummerbunds but also for evening shoelaces. It is less shiny and more matte than satin; pronounced bare-e-THEE-a

Barrel Cuff

Barrel Cuff that is too wide

Barrel Cuff that is too wide and wrong for black tie and white tie

see “single cuff

Batwing Bow Tie

Batwing Bow Tie

Moiré Silk Batwing Bow Tie

a bow tie with cricket bat-shaped blades; wing ends can be straight or pointed; straight-end version also known as a “club bow” in America; compare to butterfly bow tie

Besom Pocket

A jetted hip pocket (shown here on a dinner jacket with a patterned weave).

A jetted besom hip pocket (shown here on a dinner jacket with a patterned weave).

an inset pocket with a narrow welted edge above the opening; known as a double besom when there is also a welt below the opening; can either be jetted (as shown here) or have a flap; pronounced BEE-zem

Bib

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom and waistcost with mother of pearl shirt studs

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom aka bib and waistcost with mother of pearl shirt studs

see “bosom

Bird’s Eye piqué

diamond pattern piqué

Black Tie

a dress code consisting of specifically defined attire
(note: written as “black-tie” when used as an adjective)

Body Coat

Summer 1938 - typical white tie and black tie ensembles with full cut, wide lapels, drape and shoulder padding

Summer 1938 – typical white tie outfit on the left – cut close to the body with horizontal and vertical seams it is a body coat

A coat cut very close to the body using vertical and horizontal seams. A morning coat, tailcoat or frock coat are body coats.

Boiled Shirt

1921 Arrow shirt ad

1921 Arrow shirt ad for boiled front  shirt

see “stiff-front shirt

Box Pleat (vintage)

Box Pleats

Box Pleats


box pleat (vintage)

box pleat (vintage)

a pleat style featuring two straight fabric folds facing in opposite directions; often featured on the bosom of classic turndown collar shirts

Blade

Assorted Black Bow TIes in Satin, Shantung, Faille, Barathea & Moire

Assorted Black Bow Ties this part is called the blade

the shaped ends of an untied bow tie; when the center of a blade is knotted during the tying process two “wings” are created

Bosom

Shirt Bosom

Shirt Bosom

the reinforced front portion of a formal shirt that is visible when the shirt is worn with a jacket; usually starched material in either plain or textured finish (especially piqué) or soft with pleats; also known as a “bib

Boutonniere

a flower or bouquet worn in a buttonhole; from French “boutonnière” (“buttonhole”); pronounced boo-ten-YARE (most correctly) or boo-ten-EAR; known as a “buttonhole” in the UK

Braid

Typical black-tie trousers, featuring side adjusters and a silk stripe (or galon/braid).

Typical black-tie trousers, featuring side adjusters and a silk stripe (or galon/braid).

when used in the context of formal trousers, “braid” refers to a stripe of dressy facing that covers the outside seam of the legs and may or may not include actual braid; also see Galon

Broadcloth

Cotton Broadcloth

Cotton Broadcloth

a fabric usually of cotton, silk, or rayon made in plain and rib weaves with a soft semi-gloss finish

Brocade

Silk brocade fabric - often used for rental formalwear vests and bow ties

Silk brocade fabric – often used for rental formalwear vests and bow ties

a jacquard fabric characterized by raised figures or flowers; sometimes used for formal silk waist coverings or facings. See jacquard.

Buckskin

the skin of a buck (male deer) or a soft pliable leather usually with a suede finish; used for formal outdoor gloves

Butterfly Bow Tie

bow tie a bow tie with thistle-shaped blades that create flared, slightly curved wings; wing ends can be straight or pointed; straight-end version also known as a “thistle bow tie” (esp. in the UK); compare to a batwing bow tie

Button Stance

Low Button Stance - Buttoning point is below the natural waistline

Low Button Stance – Buttoning point is below the natural waistline

the location of a coat’s front buttons relative to its waist

Calfskin

Wholecut Oxford Plain Toe Black Antique

Wholecut Oxford Plain Toe in black calfskin

a fine leather made from the skin of a young calf; alternative to patent leather in formal footwear

Cape

White Tie with Evening Cloak or Cape lined in white silk with cane, gloves and top hat.jpg

White Tie with Evening Cloak or Cape lined in white silk with cane, gloves and top hat.jpg

evening outerwear for white tie but also sometimes worn with black tie. lined with silk sometimes in contrasting white. , often part on an Inverness. ; also known as cloak

Cashmere

Grey Gray Peccary Mens Dress Gloves Hydropeccary handsewn with cashmere lining by Fort Belvedere

Grey Gray Peccary Mens Dress Gloves Hydropeccary handsewn with cashmere lining by Fort Belvedere

a fine wool from the undercoat of the Kashmir goat woven or knitted into soft fabrics that are luxurious to the touch

Cloak

see “cape

Clock

a knitted, woven or embroidered vertical design on the outside of a sock

Club Bow Tie

see “batwing bow tie

Continental Tie

Late 1960s Chartreuse Dinner Jacket with Continental Tie, Cummerbund and Studs

Late 1960s Chartreuse Dinner Jacket with Continental Tie, Cummerbund and Studs

a bow tie alternative consisting of a strip of black fabric that overlaps under the throat where it is is fastened by a tie tack or snap button; the term is also applied to a V-shaped neckband fastened behind the neck; neither are considered proper black tie

Cufflinks

Monkeys Fist Knot Cufflinks - 925 Sterling Silver Platinum, Rose Gold and Yellow Gold Plated - Fort Belvedere

Monkeys Fist Knot Cufflinks – 925 Sterling Silver Platinum, Rose Gold and Yellow Gold Plated – Fort Belvedere

a usually ornamental device consisting of two parts joined by a shank, chain, or bar for passing through buttonholes to fasten shirt cuffs; required for formal shirts

Cummerbund

a broad pleated waistband or sash usually worn with a tuxedo in place of a waistcoat; became popular in the 1930s; from Hindi & Urdu kamarband in turn from Persian, from kamar waist + band band

Cutaway (coat)

SRS in a morning coat

SRS in a morning coat aka cutaway coat

see “morning coat” and morning dress guide

Cutaway Collar

Avoid widespread Cutaway Shirt Collars

Widespread Cutaway Shirt Collar

a spread collar with an extremely wide spread between the collar points

Detachable Collar

a collar attached to a collarless shirt by means of studs; usually made of highly starched cotton; in formal wear usually a wing collar attached to a stiff-front shirt; compare to attached collar

Dinner Jacket

Dinner Jacket with shawl collar

Dinner Jacket with shawl collar


Classic Black Tie Tuxedo

Classic Black Tie Tuxedo

a usually black or midnight blue formal suit jacket with dressy lapel facings for evening wear; also known as a tuxedo jacket may also come in different colors such as bottle green, burgundy, bronze or dark blue – see Comparative Terminology

Double-Breasted

Two button DB navy velvet dinner jacket with shawl collar by Zaremba bespoke

Two button DB navy velvet dinner jacket with shawl collar by Zaremba bespoke

having one half of the front lapped over the other and usually a double vertical row of buttons and a single row of buttonholes; found in jackets, coats, overcoats and waistcoats; compare with single-breasted

Double Cuff

see “French cuff

Dress Coat

London UK evening fashions 1936 black tie and white tie

London UK evening fashions 1936 black tie and white tie

chiefly British term for evening tailcoat

Dress Suit

chiefly British term for evening tailcoat and matching trousers akafull-dress suit“; compare with “dinner suit” which refers to dinner jacket and matching trousers

Duck (vintage)

Duck fabric in cream color

Duck fabric in cream color

a heavy, plain woven cotton fabric commonly referred to as “canvas”; also known as “cotton duck”, “duck cloth” or “duck canvas”; from Dutch “doek” (“linen canvas”)

Embroidery (vintage)

1960s slim lapel tuxedo with silk emroidered piping

1960s slim lapel tuxedo with silk embroidered piping

ornamented with needlework; sometimes found on formal soft shirts and facings in the ’50s and ’60s

White Tie Tailcoat Evening Wear - Sven Raphael Schneider

White Tie Tailcoat Evening Wear – Sven Raphael Schneider

Evening Tailcoat

tailcoat that is double-breasted (although designed not to close) with skirt sharply cut away at the front

Evening Wear

see Formal Dress Codes

Eyelet

Stud Hole for shirt studs

Stud Hole for shirt studs

in regards to formal wear, a button hole intended to take a stud; also known as a “stud hole”

Facing

Silk Facings on tuxedo lapels

Silk Facings on tuxedo lapels

a layer of decorative fabric used to dress formal accents such as dinner jacket lapels, buttons, and welts, as well as to cover trouser seams

Faille

a somewhat shiny, closely woven silk, rayon, or cotton fabric with a ribbed weave; used in formal wear facings and bow ties; pronounced FILE (note: term is often used interchangeably with grosgrain although it is actually finer finish)

False Cuff (vintage)

1960s Jet Age Sparkly tuxedo with shawl collar and slim bow tie note the sleeve faux cuff piping

1960s Jet Age Sparkly tuxedo with shawl collar and slim bow tie note the sleeve faux cuff piping

false cuff tailoring embellishment that creates the impression of a finished sleeve cuff; popular on formal coats in the Victorian era

Finished Waistband

Finished Waistband with flat silk satin galon aka braid and jetted besom pocket

Finished Waistband with flat silk satin galon aka braid and jetted besom pocket

a formal trouser waistband dressed with decorative facing and uninterrupted by belt loops; designed to be worn without a waist covering; became popular in the 1990s

Vintage reproduction shawl collar tux with flaps from the Gatsby Collection

Vintage reproduction shawl collar tux with flaps from the Gatsby Collection

Flap Pocket

an inset pocket with a covering (flap) over the mouth; considered less formal than a jetted pocket which does not have a flap

Fly Front

Fly front pleated tuxedo shirt

Fly front pleated tuxedo shirt

a closure in which a placket or piece of fabric covers buttons or a zipper; used on a shirt, coat or trouser

Formal

see Dress Codes

Four-in-hand

the knot most commonly used to tie a long necktie; also refers to the long tie itself; black silk four-in-hand ties are sometimes used as a fashion-forward alternative to the bow tie

Gentlemen in Frock Coat in 1913

Gentleman on the left in a Frock Coat in 1913

Frock Coat

historically a man’s knee-length double-breasted day coat (often known as a Prince Albert coat); since the 1990s, a fashion-forward alternative to the dinner jacket not considered proper black tie

French Cuff

the snap cufflinka soft double cuff that is made by turning back half of a wide cuff band and fastening it with cuff links; found on soft-front formal shirts; also known as a “double cuff” (esp. in the UK); compare with single cuff

Full Dress

original term for what is now known as white tie; originally distinguished from “half dress” (semi-formal day and evening wear) and “undress” (lounge suit)  (note: written as “full-dress” when used as an adjective)

Galon

Single Braid aka Galon that is actually braided

Single Braid aka Galon that is actually braided

when used in the context of formal trousers, “galon” refers to a single (for black tie) or double (for white tie) stripe of dressy facing that covers the outside seam of the legs and may or may not include actual braid;  also see braid

Grosgrain


Single End Bow Tie in Black Silk Faille Grosgrain - Fort Belvedere

Single End Bow Tie in Black Silk Faille Grosgrain – Fort Belvedere

a strong close-woven corded fabric usually of silk or rayon; used as a more understated alternative to satin facing in formal wear; pronounced GROW-grain. Also see faille

Homburg

Homburg - The classic Evening Hat for a Tuxedo - note it does not have the pinch of a Lords Hat.

Homburg – The classic Evening Hat for a Tuxedo – note it does not have the pinch of a Lords Hat.

a man’s felt hat with a stiff curled brim and a high crown creased lengthwise; appropriate in black for black-tie attire since the 1920s

Inverness

1933 USA - inverness evening overcoat with cape and silk faced lapels. White tie goes with top hat and evening gloves

1933 USA – inverness evening overcoat with cape and silk faced lapels. White tie goes with top hat and evening gloves

overcoat with cape that was a prefered choice over overcoat for white tie and also black tie during the Victorian, Edwardian Age as well as 1920s and 1930s.

Jacquard

Jacquard Striped Black & White Silk Tie by Beau Brummell - note the differing front and back blade of the tie

Jacquard Striped Black & White Silk Tie by Beau Brummell – note the differing front and back blade of the tie

a fabric of intricate variegated weave or pattern; named for the Frenchman who invented the loom; sometimes used for formal facings and waist coverings; pronounced JA-kard

Jetted Pocket

see “besom pocket

Lawn (vintage)

Lawn fabric in white

Lawn fabric in white

a fine sheer linen or cotton fabric of plain weave; originally used for full-dress bow ties

Laydown Collar

see “turndown collar

Link Front

Double button aka link front

Double button aka link front

method of fastening a single-button jacket with two buttons connected to each other cufflink-style; a very traditional style for morning coats but also sometimes seen on dinner jackets both past and present

Lisle

Finest Socks in the World in Black Silk Lisle with 280 Needle for Black Tie White Tie by Fort Belvedere Over The Calf

Finest Socks in the World in Black Silk Lisle with 280 Needle for Black Tie White Tie by Fort Belvedere Over The Calf

a smooth, sleek, tightly twisted thread usually made of long-staple cotton; used as an alternative to silk for formal socks.

Lounge Suit

British term for the business suit; named after its original role as Victorian resort, casual or lounge wear.

Madras (vintage)

Madras Tuxedos

Madras Tuxedos

a fine plain-woven shirting and dress fabric usually of cotton with varied designs (as plaid) in bright colors or in white; used for fashion-forward black tie in the 1960s

Marcella

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom and waistcost with mother of pearl shirt studs

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom aka bib and waistcoat with mother of pearl shirt studs

a type of piqué weave historically considered distinct from piqué but now usually considered synonymous; in the UK also a black-tie shirt with bosomturndown collar and/or cuffs in white piqué with body and sleeves in white voile or broadcloth

Maroon

Maroon

Maroon

a popular color for waist coverings (especially cummerbunds), bow ties and accessories from the 1930s to the 1950s, particularly in summer

Mess Jacket

a white military dress jacket cut just above the waist that was adapted for civilian semi-formal wear in the early 1930s. Also see Military Formal Attire – Mess Dress

Midnight Blue

Gianni Agnelli in Midnight Blue DB Shawl Collar tuxedo

Gianni Agnelli in Midnight Blue DB Shawl Collar tuxedo

a deep blackish-blue used in evening wear as a richer alternative to black

Mohair

Mohair Colors for Business - 27 percent by Vitale Barberis Canonico

Mohair Colors for Business – 27 percent by Vitale Barberis Canonico

a fabric or yarn made wholly or in part of the long silky hair of the Angora goat; sometimes blended with worsted wool producing a cloth with less sheen but more softness and drape

Moiré

silk, velvet or other fabric having a wavy watered appearance; an independent usually shimmering pattern seen when two geometrically regular patterns are superimposed; mostly in faille or taffeta weaves; used in fashion-forward black-tie fashions in the 1960s; pronounced mwa-RAY

Morning Coat

SRS in a morning coat

SRS in a morning coat ensemble

tailcoat that is single-breasted and has fronts that curve away gently; the most formal coat for daytime wear; known as a “cutaway” in America

Mother Of Pearl

Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl


A vintage mother-of-pearl evening jewellery set by Swank.

A vintage mother-of-pearl evening jewellery set by Swank.

sometimes abbreviated to MOP the hard, pearly, iridescent substance forming the inner layer of a mollusk shell; often used to decorate formal studs and cufflinks

Notched Lapel

David Letterman, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno, Johnny Carson all in notched lapel tuxedos in 1988

David Letterman, Garry Shandling, Jay Leno, Johnny Carson all in notched lapel tuxedos in 1988

a style of lapel where the top line of the lapel slants down in line with the collar seam; less formal than the peak lapel or shawl collar, it became popular on dinner jackets in the 1960s despite its association with the common business suit

Onyx

a translucent variety of quartz in parallel layers of different colors; often used in black color black-tie studs and cufflinks

Opera Hat

Opera Hat

Opera Hat

an evening top hat designed to be collapsible for easy storage; not to be confused with a top hat;  worn with white tie in the 1930s; also known as a “Gibbus” after its inventor or Chapeau Claque .

Oxford

Black Patent Leather Oxford Shoes Black Tie

A pair of black patent plain-toed oxfords, paired with a tuxedo in midnight blue.

in regards to footwear, a low shoe laced or tied over the instep; one of two styles of acceptable formal shoes; compare with pump; see Classic Footwear page for different British and American use of the term (note: typically capitalized in British English)

Patent Leather

a leather with a hard, smooth, glossy finish on the surface; used for formal shoes

Peaked Lapel

This midnight blue jacket features lapels faced in black grosgrain silk.

This midnight blue jacket features lapels faced in black grosgrain silk.

a style of lapel where the top line of the lapel slants upward from the collar seam; the most formal type of lapel; compare with notched lapel and shawl collar

Piqué

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom and waistcost with mother of pearl shirt studs

White Tie ensmeble with Piqué bow tie, stiff shirt front bosom aka bib and waistcost with mother of pearl shirt studs

a tightly woven fabric with various raised patterns often found on formal shirts and full-dress waistcoats and bow ties; the finer the bead, the finer and more elegant the shirt; pronounced pee-KAY (see also marcella)

Placket

also “plaquet”; a separate strip of fabric sewn onto a shirt front to secure the buttonholes and provide structure and finish

Tom Ford Pleated Tuxedo Shirt

Tom Ford Pleated Tuxedo Shirt with placket

Pleat

FRONT - pleated front detail

FRONT – pleated front detail

(originally “plait”) a fold in cloth made by doubling material over on itself; used to decorate the bosom of black-tie shirts

Pocket Square

a silk or linen handkerchief folded decoratively and placed in the breast pocket of a coat

Poke Collar

Poke Collar

Poke Collar

a standing detachable collar with a very slight curve of the corners in front; popular with formal shirts in the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Point Collar

a shirt collar with a narrow spread between its points; less dressy than a spread collar, it began appearing on formal shirts in the 1990s; also known as a “straight-point collar”

Patent Leather Opera Pumps with Satin Bow, Black Silk Socks and double galon stripe

Patent Leather Opera Pumps with Satin Bow, Black Silk Socks and double galon stripe

Pump

a low-cut, slip-on shoe that grips the foot chiefly at the toe and heel; formal evening pumps usually have an ornamental grosgrain bow in front and are made of patent leather or calfskin; also known as “opera pump” and “court pump”

Rever(s)

Silk Facings on tuxedo lapels aka revers

Silk Facings on tuxedo lapels aka revers

the reverse side of a lapel (or collar) exposed when a lapel is folded back

Ribbed Silk

see “grosgrain” or “faille

Ruffle

Fancy Ruffled Shirt

a strip of fabric gathered or pleated on one edge; popular on the bosom and sometimes cuffs of black-tie shirts in the late 1960s and’70s, often with embroidered edges in a contrasting color

Sack Suit

American term for early style of business suit; similar to British lounge suit

Satin

a fabric (as of silk) with lustrous face and dull back; used an an alternative to grosgrain in formal facings

Self-Faced

Non-traditional Black Tie ensemble with velvet DB jacket and midnight blue trousers, following the clack black tie style rules

Non-traditional Black Tie ensemble with self-faced velvet DB jacket and midnight blue trousers, following the clack black tie style rules

facing made of the same fabric as the primary garment; standard for light colored dinner jackets or velvet dinner jackets

Self-Tie Bow Tie

a bow tie that requires tying by the wearer; contrast with “pre-tied” or “clip-on”

Semi-Formal

see Dress Codes

Sennit Hat

see straw boater

Shantung

a fabric in plain weave having a slightly irregular surface; popular in fashion forward black tie clothing in the late ’50s and ’60s

Shawl Collar

Shawl collar dinner jacket with Burnt Orange Silk Pocket Square & Black Bow Tie in Silk Barathea by Fort Belvedere

Shawl collar dinner jacket with Burnt Orange Silk Pocket Square & Black Bow Tie in Silk Barathea by Fort Belvedere

also “shawl lapel”; a turned-over collar of a garment that combines with lapels forming an unbroken curving line; compare with peaked lapel and notched lapel

Silk Hat

see “top hat

Single-Breasted

Chiwetel Ejiofor in single breasted peak lapel tuxedo in black with turndown collar shirt & wristwatch

Chiwetel Ejiofor in single breasted peak lapel tuxedo in black with turndown collar shirt & wristwatch

having a center closing with one row of buttons and no lap; found in coats, overcoats and waistcoats; compare with double-breasted

Single Cuff

Single Cuff with cufflinks is the only proper shirt cuff option for white tie

Single Cuff with cufflinks is the only proper shirt cuff option for white tie

soft or starched shirt cuff of one thickness; found on stiff-front shirts it is fastened with cuff links; also known barrel cuff (esp. in US); compare with French cuff

Sized Bow Tie


a single-piece self-tie bow tie sized for a specific neck measurement. Advantageous especially for detachable collars as there is no adjuster, just one continuous band.

Skirt

Jacket skirt

Jacket skirt

on a jacket or coat, the portion of the garment below the waistline

Slit Pocket

see “besom pocket

Smoking Jacket

Ethan Wong wearing a smoking jacket

Ethan Wong wearing a smoking jacket

a garment designed for wear while smoking tobacco; traditionally made of velvet or sometimes silk, with a shawl collar, decorated cuffs and toggle fastenings; can be substituted for a dinner jacket in less formal settings; in continental Europe also used to describe a dinner jacket, see black tie terminology

Sock Garter

Sock Garters

Sock Garters

a band worn to hold up a stocking or sock; ensures that mid-calf formal socks will not bunch or slide; very uncomfortable and awkward to wear; instead get true over-the-calf silk socks for a proper black tie look

Spread Collar

Tom Ford Pleated Tuxedo Shirt

Tom Ford Pleated Tuxedo Shirt

a shirt collar with points spread apart enough to accommodate a large tie knot and end underneath the jacket collar; considered a dressier style than the pointed collar

Stiff-Front Shirt

a.k.a. “boiled shirt“; a collarless formal shirt with a bosom and cuffs formerly so rigid that the garment had to be boiled to remove the heavy starching in contrast to “semi-stiff” or “soft” shirts that use moderate or no starch; worn with a stiff detachable collar

Stud

Art Deco Engraved Rock Crysteal, Platinum and Diamond Full Dress Set with cufflinks, studs and waistcoat buttons by Krementz from the collection of Sven Raphael Schneider

Art Deco Engraved Rock Crysteal, Platinum and Diamond Full Dress Set with cufflinks, studs and waistcoat buttons by Krementz from the collection of Sven Raphael Schneider

a solid button with a shank or eye on the back inserted through an eyelet in a formal shirt, formal waistcoat or detachable collar as a fastener or ornament

Straw Boater

Warm Weather Black Tie outfit with boater hat – popular in the 1930s


Sennit boater hat with club hatband.

Sennit boater hat with club hatband.

also known as a “Sennit straw hat”; popular summer headwear for black tie in the 1930s

Swiss Pleat

see “tucks

Tailcoat

a formal indoor coat defined by a long skirt that is cut away in front at the waist and divided by a long center vent in the back; typically a morning coat for formal day wear or an evening tailcoat

Tartan

Velvet Shawl Collar Jacket with Plaid Trousers

Velvet Shawl Collar Jacket with Festive Plaid Tartan Trousers

a plaid textile design of Scottish origin consisting of stripes of varying width and color usually patterned to designate a distinctive clan; the green and navy blue “Black Watch” pattern (pictured) has been the favored plaid for informal dinner jackets since the ’50s

Thistle Bow Tie

see “butterfly bow tie

Top Hat

SRS wearing a top hat

SRS wearing a top hat

tall, stiff-crowned hat with rolled-edge brim; worn in black silk with white tie, also worn in gray felt with black band with morning dress; also known as “silk hat” and “topper”; see also opera hat

Tucks

Shirt Tucks

Shirt Tucks

pleats that are sewn in place along the folded edge; “pin tucks” are very narrow tucks; also known as swiss pleats; sometimes used to decorate black-tie shirt bosoms

Turndown Collar

1950s Tuxedo - often double breasted with turndown collar and thinner bow tie, here with pointed ends of course the cigarette is a musta standard shirt collar folded back on itself with cutaway front ends to allow for a tie knot; also known as a “fold collar”; depending on the spacing between the collar points it can be designated either a spread collar or a pointed collar

Tuxedo

see Comparative Black Tie Terminology

Vamp

Classic Plain Oxford with Vamp And Quarter in Patent Leather for Black Tie & White Tie evening wear - Cheam by Crockett & Jones

Classic Plain Oxford with Vamp And Quarter in Patent Leather for Black Tie & White Tie evening wear – Cheam by Crockett & Jones

the front part of the upper portion of a shoe that covers the toes and part of the foot; a slip-on (pictured) and an oxford have long vamps while a pump has a a very short one

Velvet


Velvet dinner jacket with turquoise lining

Velvet dinner jacket with turquoise lining

a clothing and upholstery fabric (as of silk, rayon, or wool) characterized by a short soft dense warp pile; used as an alternative to worsted wool in dinner jackets and as an alternative formal facing especially in the ’60s and ’70s

Vent

The reverse of the same ensemble; note that the jacket has no rear vents.

The reverse of the same ensemble; note that the jacket has no rear vents.

an opening in the lower part of a garment seam (as of a jacket or skirt); dinner jackets are most formal when they are not vented but two “side vents” can be a practical and acceptable alternative; a (rear) “center vent” is not appropriate for formal wear

Vest

see “waistcoat

Vicuna

Vicuna fabric

Vicuna fabric

an extremely soft and expensive wool from the fine lustrous undercoat of the vicuña, a South American relative of the llama and alpaca

Voile

Cotton Voile Fabric

Cotton Voile Fabric

a fine, lightweight fabric; because of its sheerness voile dress shirts are made with double-layer bosoms and worn primarily for warm weather; pronounced “voil”

Waist Covering

see “waistcoat” and “cummerbund

Waist Suppression

Minimal Waist Suppression

Minimal Waist Suppression

the addition of shape at the waistline of a garment; usually very moderate in dinner jackets

Waistcoat

This black-tie waistcoat is a backless model, and features four polished buttons, a matte wool body with self-faced lapels, and two jetted pockets.

This black-tie waistcoat is a backless model, and features four polished buttons, a matte wool body with self-faced lapels, and two jetted pockets.

also known as “vest” in North America; a sleeveless garment for the upper body usually worn over a shirt; evening waistcoats are traditionally low cut and lapelled as shown; can be “backless” or have a “full back” or have a “half back”

Welt Pocket

Welt Pocket

Welt Pocket

an inset pocket with the lower lip finished by an upstanding welt (extra strip of fabric or stitching that is sewn or otherwise fastened to a pocket to strengthen or adorn it); typically used for breast pockets on suit jackets

White Tie

Sven Raphael Schneider in White Tie keeping it real

Sven Raphael Schneider in White Tie keeping it real

the most formal type of civilian dress code consisting of specifically defined attire (note: written as “white-tie” when used as an adjective)

Wing Collar

A Fort Belvedere barathea bow tie with a wing collar shirt.

A Fort Belvedere barathea bow tie with a wing collar shirt.

a standup shirt collar with the front tips folded over to form tabs called “wings”; not to be confused with “wing tips” which is a shoe toe decoration; traditionally detachable but usually attached today

Worsted

Worsted wool tuxedo pants with single Braid aka Galon that is actually braided

Worsted wool tuxedo pants with single Braid aka Galon that is actually braided

a firm, napless (free of fibrous texture) fabric made with a smooth, compact yarn from long wool fibers; can be “finished” (treating the surface of the fabric to improve its appearance) or “unfinished”

Summary
Black Tie, Tuxedo & White Tie Evening Wear Glossary
Article Name
Black Tie, Tuxedo & White Tie Evening Wear Glossary
Description
Not sure what a specific black tie, white tie or formal evening wear related terms means? No problem this glossary has the answer for you!
Author
Publisher
Gentleman's Gazette LLC
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