Black Tie holiday events call for formal attire. Men wear black suits or tuxes; while women have a choice between short cocktail frocks, long dresses or dressy skirt separates (fancy slack ensembles won’t do). Finishing off the look with heels, one piece of statement jewelry (either earrings or a necklace) and a small evening bag is a safe way to go.

If the new party look isn’t for you, then sticking to a modern classic ensemble is just as fab. Here are some ways to pack a little more punch and drama into a classic Black Tie occasion outfit:

  • Add metallic, red or colorful shoes and handbag to a little black dress.
  • Opt for a dress in a colour or metal instead of black.
  • Wear a long chunky necklace instead of a short pendant or strand of pearls.
  • Sport sheer shiny hose with peep toed shoes. Subtle sparkly styles will also work.
  • Wear a translucent stiff wrap that fastens or “pulls through” in front instead of the pashmina kind that hangs loosely around the shoulders. This gives your outfit more structure and definition.
  • Add a faux fur shrug and opera length gloves.

Browse the dress category if you’re unsure about the best dress style for your body type. A fit-and-flare style (fitted on top and A-line in silhouette) is universally flattering and comfortable and therefore an ideal option. You’re after an outfit with a bit of sheen, so bypass matte jersey dresses because they’re not sufficiently luxurious for a swanky event.

Tory Burch 'Lindsay' Tank Dress with Bow Detail Sheer Beaded Wrap Tonal Check Woven Tie

A midnight blue, empire-cut cocktail dress, a front-fastening wrap, and a men’s black and ink blue silk tie with a white shirt.

Vera Wang Satin Gown - Front Vera Wang Satin Gown - Back Steven Fanci
Satin Clutch

A long fit-and-flare black gown, shiny yellow clutch and delicious red satin peep- toe pumps that are probably impossible on the dancefloor.