Event: Crystal Charity Ball or Two by Two for AIDS and Art
Attire: “Black Tie”
What that means: According to David Smith, owner of Pocket’s Menswear, black tie equals tuxedo. But he says there’s room for creativity, such as adding a splash of color with a bow tie and cummerbund or with a vest and traditional four-in-hand tie. A tuxedo jacket and jeans is not appropriate.
Kory Helfman at Ken’s Men’s Shop says to go classic or opt for more contemporary attire: a black tuxedo with a formal, full-fashion tie, and add suspenders in lieu of a cummerbund to finish the ensemble. “Black Tie Only” means to go as classic as possible–a black tuxedo with a bow tie and a stud-front shirt.
Event: December Decadence at Forty Five Ten or TREC’s Fall Gala
Attire: “Cocktail” or “Downtown Chic”
What that means: Korshak’s Ed Shaikh says if the invite says cocktail attire and the party begins after 6 pm, depending on the event, one should wear a dark suit with a dressy tie (solid satin). Or, if not wearing a tie, pair a suit or novel jacket, embellished with a pocket square, with a crisp, solid shirt, worn open collar (e.g., Tom Ford, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney).
Bottom line: wear a suit or don’t go, Smith says.
Event: Junior League of Dallas Auction and Casino
Attire: “Gold Theme” or “Creative Cocktail”
What that means: Suit and no tie, or coat and no tie, says image and fashion consultant Guillaume Couthheillas. Colors and fabrics may vary according to the theme of the party.
Gary Jackson, concierge of Barneys New York at NorthPark, suggests solid pants, a fitted white shirt (try Thom Browne New York or Jil Sander), and a vintage jacket (Ahab Bowen and Dolly Python have good selections).
Event: Trinity Trust’s Launch or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar release party at Stanley Korshak
Attire: “Casual” or “Casual Chic”
What that means: A sport coat or leather or velvet blazer with an open-collar shirt and dark, dressy, premium denim would be appropriate, says Helfman.
Shaikh advises something that is comfortable and simple. If going without a jacket, opt for a modern, monochromatic look with navy or chocolate brown, he says.
Jackson says if you’re going to wear jeans to an event, be sure they fit (no sagging). Add a belt with an oversized buckle, and, if you’re going sans jacket, a shirt with a unique color blend or texture (try Paul Smith, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Alexander McQueen).