White tie is the most formal, and rare, of dress codes, worn in the evening for royal ceremonies and balls. It may also be specified for formal evening weddings.
White tie is sometimes referred to as 'full evening dress' or 'cravate blanche'.
Traditional white tie for men consists of:
• Black single-breasted tail coat with silk lapels, worn unbuttoned (never to be confused with a morning coat).
• Black trousers to match the tail coat, with two lines of braid down each outside leg.
• White marcella shirt, worn with a detachable wing collar, cufflinks and studs.
• Thin, white, hand-tied marcella bow-tie.
• White marcella evening waistcoat - double or single-breasted.
• Black patent lace-up shoes and black silk socks.
• In Winter, a black overcoat and white silk scarf can be worn.
Top Tip: nowadays, it is rare to wear a top hat and many see it as a pointless exercise as it is only worn en route to the event, and therefore generally goes unnoticed.
For ladies, a long (never short), formal evening gown should be worn. Evening gloves are no longer compulsory.