(Closed) Black Tie Optional – Dress Option

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think its fine. Short cocktail dresses are acceptable even at a black tie event.  For me, it would depend on what it looks like in person – H&M can have some stuff that looks great online but cheap in person.  

Post # 5
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

I think you would probably be one of the more casually dressed people there, but you would be well within the realm of acceptable.

Post # 6
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it’s ok, but I’d want to wear a long gown, there are never enough opportunities to wear long gowns.

Post # 7
3374 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think it’s good if it hits you at your knee. Its too short on the model.


Post # 8
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Cocktail or floor length dresses are appropriate. However, you need a shawl or jacket for the ceremony. Catholic wedding = covered shoulders. 

Traditionalists would say black is inappropriate as it indicates mourning, but most people don’t believe black is inappropriate anymore. 

Post # 10
3697 posts
Sugar bee

It’s a lovely dress. That said …

– this is a great excuse to wear a floor-length dress, and those don’t come by all that often. Carpe diem.

– I think these days it’s fine to wear a black dress to a wedding, especially a really dressy one. Even so, black lace with a nude lining isn’t necessarily a great choice for a Catholic church ceremony. And, as PPs pointed out, you would want to have something that will cover your shoulders and will want the skirt to be knee-length, just to be on the safe side. Some churches are more conservative than others – it may be a non-issue, the bride and bridesmaids might all be strapless, and no one is going to throw you out for being underdressed, but … my $0.02 is that I’d save this dress for a wedding that wasn’t in a Catholic church.

Post # 11
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I think it depends on your height and shape. I love that dress and have tried it on. At 5’9 with curves, it is too tight on the rear and too short for me to wear to mass or a black tie optional event. My friend is 5’2 and has a flat rear and looks totally okay. Only you can try it on and see.

FWIW, my rule is that a dress has to hit my knees and I better not have to think about undergarments showing for it to be black tie optional ready. For me, this dress would be out on both. But it could be fine on you.

I think black and the shoulder coverage are fine. The rule our church went by was the bra strap rule– could you wear a normal bra without it showing? If so, the straps were wide enough for church.

Post # 12
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

When it comes to formality… it really is what the men are supposed to wear that sets the tone (sadly, in today’s society not enough men seem to take pride in this part of their gentlmenly appearance at social occasions… hence the need for a spelled out dress code)

BLACK TIE (required) – MEN = Tuxedos & WOMEN = Gowns

BLACK TIE (preferred) – MEN = Tuxedos & Dark Suits & WOMEN = Gowns, Cocktail Dresses or Cocktail Pants / Taffeta Skirts etc.

BLACK TIE (optional) – MEN = Tuxedos or Business Suits & WOMEN = Gowns, Cocktail Dresses or otherwise upscale clothing (same as Black Tie Preferred plus Suits, Nice Day Dresses, Business Wear etc)

Personally, whenever I am invited to an event that says “Black Tie” on it (in any configuration) I like to aim HIGHER than LOWER… but then I am one of those Ladies (and her guy) who enjoy the opportunity to dress up in life and indulge in the few times that men & women can be dashing, sexy and handsome together (it most definitely can rock the mood… before, during and after, if you get my gist)

Hope this helps,

PS… Cute dress.  But it “could be” problematic for a Catholic Church Wedding (and I take it this will be a nice affair in a nice Church… Cathedral perhaps?) unless you choose to find something to deal with the shoulders while at the Ceremony.  Black as a colour is fine for a Black Tie Wedding NOW … altho there are certainly some who believe it to be too morbid for such a joyous occasion (colour = happiness)


Post # 13
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Pollywog:  Bra strap rule? If you are Catholic, your church is the exception, not the rule. You cover your shoulders for modesty. That means none of your shoulders showing. My mother would act like I showed up to mass in my underwear if I tried to walk in with anything less than a cap sleave. 

Post # 14
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would look for something long.

Post # 15
1736 posts
Bumble bee

I am having a black tie optional wedding and I honestly wouldn’t mind if you came in that dress (so long as it’s longer on you than on the model). I think though…like a PP said, this might be a fun opportunity for you to wear a longer gown should you want to!

Post # 16
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

The visible zipper and the fact that the lace only goes up half the backside notches down the dressiness to me. I would say that’s not quite what I think of as a black tie optional dress. But if the standard is actually “guys not in polo shirts,” you’re fine. I’d go dressy on accessories – nice heels, a string of pearls or sparkly earrings, hair up would be nice. 

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