White tie, or full evening dress, is the most formal of all male evening dress codes. The white tie rig has stayed pretty much unchanged since the mid 1800’s. It consists of a black tailcoat with matching trousers, white waistcoat, a white wing collar shirt and a white bow tie. White tie is mostly used for weddings, balls and other festive occasions that require formal dress.
Price from SEK 20 000*
*Full bespoke, two-piece evening suit
The cloth for tailcoat and trousers is black wool, with black silk lapel facings and for the braids that run along the trouser seams. The cloth used in tie, waistcoat and shirt is white cotton.
There really are no alternatives when it comes to the elements of a white tie coat, it is a garment highly regulated by codes of formal dressing. The jacket is double breasted but never buttoned. It has two long tails in the back (hence the term tailcoat). The front of the jacket is cut off in approximately rib height.
The trousers are high waisted, so that no gap is visible between jacket, waistcoat and trousers. They also have two silk braids running down the outside seam of the legs, from waistband to the feet. The trousers are worn with braces and are never cuffed.
Find our braces here.
The waistcoat is typically made from white Marcella cotton and can be either single or double breasted. The waistcoat is cut quite high, to cover the waistband of the trousers, but never to peek out underneath the cut off fronts of the jacket.
Shirt & tie
The shirt is made with a starched Marcella cotton front, with button holes for studs and a wing collar. The collar can be either fixed or detachable. The shirt cuffs are made to be worn with cufflinks but are always single cuffs unlike e.g. the Black Tie shirt. The tie is also made from white Marewlla cotton, and should preferably be of the “self tie” variety. Yes, it is like tying your shoes!
See our collection of ties and bow ties here.
Read more about our bespoke shirts here.
Shoes & accessories
The most formal footwear for white tie is court shoes, or opera pumps. These shoes are made in black patent leather, and look like a pair of low cut slippers with a black bow on top. For less daring men, a pair of black patent leather oxfords will suffice.
Regardless of what shoes you decide to wear, always pair them with black over-the-calf silk socks.
You can find them here.