Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2024

Is Black Tie Dead Or Just Dying?

Been There, Done That

By Marci Shatzman

The Grammys have always been fashion-forward, so showing lots of skin was in for women. 

But except for the host, black bow ties were in short supply.

Musician John Legend was wearing a low-cut satin blouse, and even J-Z modeling a collection left his collar open.

Black tie used to put men on notice they were expected to wear a tux. But that edict has been disappearing for years. Most country club communities here even dropped their jacket requirement, probably to attract an informal younger element.  

This happened because most men hated getting dressed up. 

Older guys especially, including mine, are happy to leave their tuxedo in the closet. Bob Weinroth, with his array of sparkly tuxedo jackets, is the rare exception. My father even had a tux wardrobe in the days when cruise ships and resorts required more than one.  

This year’s Rotary Club of Boca Raton OPAL Awards in January was a case in point. Some men took the “black-tie optional” notice to heart and got the message that dark suits are now considered a respectable alternative. Others looked fantastic in their tux. My guess is they already owned, and wanted an excuse to wear one. 

I’m old school, so I’m hoping but not expecting a black-tie comeback. Because the day will come when couples no longer match.

Black tie to women translates to an evening gown or a cocktail dress they can’t wait to buy or haven’t worn yet. Ask most females if they want to relax the dress code for a gala or designers for the red carpet. Believe me, you’ll get a loud and very emphatic “no.”

I still own gowns now considered vintage. I just can’t part with them.

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