Black tie is one of the most polished dress codes there is, its elegance lying in its simplicity. Today rules CAN be broken, but whether they SHOULD, is subjective. At Budd, we throw some alternative accents into the mix when it comes to dress shirts and bows, but never stray too far. In fact, unless you have a thirst for stepping out of the classic zone, we recommend you stick with these NO FAIL dress shirt options.
Our top 5 dress shirts for Black Tie
The monochromatic combination of black and white is always striking, the parameters of the Black Tie dress code making things easy when it comes to looking poised and on point. Whilst Budd doesn’t do tailoring, we DO excel in all the other elements vital to ensuring perfect turnout. Indeed, a poorly chosen dress shirt or clumsy bow tie, can instantly detract from the polish of a well-fitting dinner suit, and vice versa. Below you’ll find our favourite and best-selling dress shirts.
Each shirt is hand-made at our Andover workshops using traditional and finest quality marcella cottons, voiles and silk. Our pleated front dress shirts really are exceptional, with shirtmakers Di and Gwen applying their combined knowledge of 80 plus years to hand-pleat each shirt, often using just their rock of eye. Rock of eye is a tailoring term that refers to a craftsman’s ability to work freehand, precisely and effortless, thanks to well-honed experience.
As a general rule, our dress shirts follow convention, with a simple forward collar to perfectly frame a bow and flatter the face, and a bib front in either stiff marcella or pleated voile or silk. A unique feature of our Black Tie shirts, and one exclusive to Budd, is their button ribbon. This allows the wearer to choose between wearing their shirt with studs or the mother of pearl buttons attached to the ribbon. The strip can simply be applied to the two front plackets – very handy for when you are caught out without studs in tow or discover one has gone astray!
1. Classic Fit Plain Marcella Double Cuff Dress Shirt in White
The quintessential dress shirt, deserving of a place in every wardrobe. It has a fine Zephyr and marcella pique bib, collar and cuffs and our afore-mentioned button ribbon. This is the ideal shirt if you are opting for a cummerbund too.
2. Classic Fit Fly Front Double Cuff Dress Shirt in White
This dress shirt with diamond weave has a clean and modern look. The fly front makes for minimalist styling and means that you will only require cufflinks, and can leave the dress studs behind. The collar is classic Budd, through and through.
3. Classic Fit Pleated Voile Double Cuff Dress Shirt in White
Some say that a pleated front dress shirt is the definitive way to wear Black Tie. We would argue that this is level pegged with a simple marcella option, however, we love the poise that comes with this white dress shirt. It is cut from voile, the finest, lightest cotton.
4. Classic Fit Plain Silk Double Cuff Dress Shirt in Cream
This winning dress shirt epitomises English elegance at formal events and has a vintage expression to it. Cut from spun silk in its natural "ecru" shade of ivory, it has a good weight and hangs beautifully. The silk is pre-washed before cutting, reducing shrinkage. Wear as a dress shirt with Black Tie, under a velvet jacket to fully exploit its lustrous tones and roll it into your workwear kit too, teaming with a flannel or worsted suit.
5. Classic Fit Hand Pleated Voile Double Cuff Dress Shirt in Navy
This luxurious dress shirt is cut from voile, the finest and lightest of cotton fabrics. An essential and adaptable addition to your dresswear collection, it is exquisitely crafted by our Andover team, who meticulously form each pleat by hand. Navy adds a contemporary twist and steps away from tradition, whilst still having heritage drive overtones.
Pair your dress shirt with a simple, self-tie bow, braces to allow your trousers to hang just so (NEVER wear a belt) and a cummerbund to tidy up your waistline. Studs can offer off colour, but we big fans of the less is more, monochrome effect. Where possible, match your bow and cummerbund to the facings on your dinner jacket.