The Russian Imperial Charity Ball in Los Angeles

Black tie, occasionally known by its French name "cravate noire", is a dress code for events after 7 p.m.

While the intricacies of black tie formal wear apply more to men than to women, it is still important to understand that a lady's attire should nonetheless be appropriate.

For men, the white tail which takes its name from "queue de pie" in French is generally the traditional dress worn for balls and prestigious events.

The jacket is usually made with quality wool and the back is tailed and vented and ideally will reach the back of the knee.

Other consideration -one does not button his jacket, you wear it open and thus letting the white vest be seen at all times.

Shirt and waistcoat studs can be worn, preferably black onyx-white/cream pocket square or silk can be a nice touch. A white or black bow tie brings the final touch for this sophisticated, glamorous attire.

For women, it is customary to wear full, floor-length gowns, but in this day and age, exceptions can be made. It is for instance acceptable to wear a cocktail dress, yet one must make sure to keep the colors rich ( black, jewel tones, chic metallic's, brown) so as not to look too casual.

Conversely, women can wear a floor-length gown on a lighter shade, since the silhouette is inherently dressy. Another acceptable option for black-tie affairs are elegant separates, such a silk blouse with a full satin skirt.

Essentially, ladies should choose a dress that will hold up in a room full of men in formal attire and women who have chosen to wear full gowns.