Changing the meaning of the “Black Tie Affair”



Little Bow tie
Little Bow tie


In case you don’t know, the Black Tie Affair is an event that requires completely formal dress attire – having men dress in a Black tux with only a black ‘hand-tied’ tie and the women boasting the most elegant of near-ball gowns.  This is the kind of event where men can be and are seen only as a face, whereas women are able to epitomize ideal beauty.  Then why call it a “Black Tie Affair?”




Black is usually worn at funerals; generally, worn to celebrate a “Going Home” or “New Beginning.”  Okay, it signifies death.  Usually, I do conform to the dress code of the Black Tie Affair with much hesitancy.  Call me jealous, but I find a problem with women being able to exhibit their femininity when I have to be reduced to just a face-in-the-crowd of men who are either lesser or greater endowed financially or physically.  The Black Tie Affair is one which brags of resources for those invited to attend such a party.  So, what if women were restricted to not showing their sometimes newly acquired assets and required to don a Black tux like Kim Basinger did in the movie “9 ½ Weeks?”  In the right light, Kim could have passed as a man.  Yet, a face isn’t always just a face.  As there are pretty, baby-faced men that can rival the most beautiful women, with everyone wearing a Black tux with a Black tie, the playing field (and I do mean, playing field) is leveled.  The Black tux, like any proper suit, is tailored to the right specifications.  Not only does the Black shield imprints and indentations the anatomy, it doesn’t take the best of tailors to shield the junk concealed as one’s assets.




Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?  If it is, then change the details of the Black Tie Affair but leave the meaning.  Women wearing the customer-made Black tux, would still adhere to the specifics of the event even if they were to sport a hand-tied bow-tie as long as it was not the focus of the outfit.  As the singer Prince sang, “…Let a woman be a woman, and a man be a man.”  Let the Black Tie Affair really be a Black Tie Affair – everybody wears a Black tux with a hand-tied bow tie or simply a black bow-tie with no one wearing a ball-gown.  Notice I said nothing about the shoes?  There are women who love heels and women who love flats.  How else could a woman dress up a tux?  If it was Mariah Carey, surely she wouldn’t be caught slumming in anything other than heels.  Yet and still, Mariah’s enhanced curvature could give life to any Black Tie Affair.




How about a little role reversal?  I don’t mean men wearing dresses or ball gowns and the women wearing the tuxes.  I mean, let the women wear the Black tux and men staying away from the somber look and feel by wearing a tux of any color other than Black.  Let the Black rope stay around his neck though.  For some, the Black Tie Affair is truly an upper echelon affair.  If a man was truly able to display his physical assets beneath the stigma placed on a Black tie, wouldn’t it really be an affair to be envied…by Mr. and Mrs. Jones?


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