In general, black tie was developed during the Edwardian period and involved dressing well for formal dinners and cocktail functions with an earlier starting time than usual. This may have been due to the fact that many people were not allowed to attend the dinner party wearing formal dress in the middle of the afternoon. The evening dress became a fashion statement in Victorian England, and black tie came to mean dressing well in a formal manner at the time. Many celebrities would be seen wearing black tie in Victorian times, including Mary Pickford, William Wordsworth and Victoria Wood.
Black tie is generally associated with tuxedo style dresses and is a form of dressing where women and men all wear jackets and tails with their suits. Men often wear shirts with white collar collars and trousers while women wear dresses and cocktail dresses that are often long. As the name suggests, the formal dress code required men to wear shirts, ties and tails, while women wore dresses. Today, this type of dress code has been discarded in favour of relaxed evenings. In fact, there is hardly any kind of dress code that is followed at any social occasion anymore, though most women still wear the traditional black tie dresses.
Today, black tie and tuxedo style dresses are very much in demand, and you will hardly find women who do not wear them. The traditional black suit has been replaced by casual trousers, and suits that are black are being worn instead of tuxedos. The traditional style of tuxedos is being replaced by more modern designs. This has lead to some women, especially those who have the extra money to splurge on designer suits, to wear black ties even if they cannot afford to buy a designer black tie suit. Black tie is now associated not just with tuxedos, but with many other types of formal attire. Women in Hollywood now wear black tie and tuxedos, and in high society it is no longer considered out of the ordinary. In fact, it is still a staple in many societies in Western countries.