On an invitation, the phrase ‘black tie’ indicates a formal dress code. In ‘black tie’ settings, tuxedos are preferred for gentlemen. The traditional components of a tuxedo include a tuxedo bow tie and a tuxedo cummerbund, often sold as cummerbund & bow tie sets.
The first piece of cummerbund & bow tie is the tuxedo cummerbund. The tuxedo cummerbund is a broad, pleated waist sash; pleats are always worn facing up. The traditional tuxedo cummerbund is black, but in modern ‘black tie’ settings, colors may be worn to coordinate with others.
The tuxedo cummerbund enhances the overall aesthetic of a tuxedo, creating a clean transition between the shirt and the waistband. In addition, the tuxedo cummerbund makes the waist appear slimmer and helps keep shirts tucked in.
The second component of cummerbund & bow tie sets is the tuxedo bow tie. The tuxedo bow tie is a must-have accessory, in addition to the tuxedo cummerbund. When done right, the tuxedo bow tie adds unmatched poise to the tuxedo, although tying may take some practice!