The evening tail coat is the king of formal menswear: timeless, precious - the official attire for very formal events. In the UK and in the meanwhile also in the rest of Europe and America the dress code WHITE TIE is synonymous with the request to wear evening tails. In France this dress rule is called CRAVATE BLANCHE. As a rule of thumb you wear an evening tailcoat after 3 pm or even better after dark. At very elegant weddings, balls, festive premières, state banquets or receptions at European royal houses it is obligatory to wear an evening tail coat. Before 3 pm and before dark you wear a morning coat which is sort of tail coat during the daytime. It is very important to correctly style and coordinate the individual elements of an evening tail coat.
Black evening tail jacket either in a basic or slim fit with matching trousers made of the same fabric with double braiding at sides
White dress shirt with piqué front with matching white low-cut piqué waistcoat and white piqué bowtie
Classic black patent leather shoes
Crowning achievement: black collapsible top hat (French: chapeau claque)
By WHITE TIE - or "cravate blanche" in French - you don't mean a tie but a white piqué bowtie which is the appropriate accessory to go with evening tails. How to dress for invitations saying "White Tie": Civilians wear an evening tailcoat, soldiers may appear in their dress uniform. National dresses as well as received awards are also allowed at events with this very formal dress code. Nowadays, there are not too many events left where evening tails have to be worn but still there are a few occasions where the king of formal wear is the appropriate attire like opera balls, nobel prize awards, state banquets as well as important royal wedding balls. WHITE TIE dress for women: very formal long gown, shoes with heels if possible, open shoes without stockings are allowed
With up to 12,000 visitors the Vienna Opera Ball is one of the top events of the ball season. It does not only attract debutants but also many notables from Europe or even the United States. Etiquette rules are strict, the dress code WHITE TIE must be observed, men have to wear an evening tailcoat, alternatively a dress uniform is also permitted but other outfits are not allowed. All female visitors whould wear a long and formal evening gown.
The tradition of this opera ball dates back to 1814/15 when the Congress of Vienna was held. An opera ball at today’s location – the building of the Vienna State Opera – was first held on 11th December 1877. A ball with a fine tradition. The first ball under the name Vienna Opera Ball took place in 1935 to raise money for charity. Traditionally, the Vienna Opera Ball is opened by some 180 dancing couples. After the opening dance and the sound of the command “ALLES WALZER” (everbody waltz) the dancing floor is open for all guests of the Opera Ball. Since the 1990s the Opera Ball time and again causes a sensation with the celebrity guests of Richard Lugner, an Austrian constructor. The list of celebrities who have had a seat in his loge – which is anything but cheap – is long. It includes Ivana Trump, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Dita von Teese and more famous people.
- Put on white evening shirt, put your hand in the slit in the side of the shirt and pull the dress studs "inside"
- Pull the strap at the lower end of the button placket through the corresponding "buttonhole"
- Put the white piqué waistcoat over your head, fold up the collar of the waistcoat, unfasten the "neckband", pull it through the loop at the back of the shirt and refasten it
- Fasten elastic loop of the evening waistcoat (inside of the front panel) to the button of the waistband (do not use the button of the underflap) - this is best done with open trousers
- Fasten the loop of the evening shirt to the button of the waistband, too
- Pull the band of the piqué bowtie also through the loop of the dress shirt (same loop through which the "neckband" of the waistcoat was pulled)