The ominous "Black Tie" invitation arrives at your door. Do you wear a short dress or a long gown? For a bit of insight, we turned to famed fashion editor and novelist William Norwich (author of My Mrs. Brown) for a guide on how to break down the dress request on this season's countless invitations.
How to approach Black Tie: "Always be mindful of your hosts' desires and anticipate what their vision is for their dinner, dance, fundraiser, wedding, whatever. What does black tie mean to your host—what does it look like to them? If it is Rihanna, well that is one thing, and if it is the Prince of Wales, it's another."—William Norwich
Ladies: A night for you to look your most gorgeous! Embrace it and have fun. Wear a long formal gown or a shorter fancy cocktail dress that is black tie appropriate. Colors to keep in mind for winter: jewel tones, emerald, ruby, amethyst and, of course, black. Bring out your best jewels and high heels and jazz it up!
Gentlemen: There's really nothing as sophisticated as a man in classic black tie. He should wear a dinner jacket (also known as a tuxedo jacket) and matching trousers, bow tie, and cummerbund or waistcoat, and black patent-leather or calfskin pumps or laced oxfords.