Black-Tie Dresses: The Rules, Regs and Best to Buy Now

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that shopping for a black-tie dress is quite an exciting prospect. The introduction of this dress code to any event spells the message out loud and clear: Make an effort. And any girl who likes getting dressed up can really go to town when that kind of invite arrives with a gleeful thud on the doormat.

While the requirements of the black-tie dress code do mean that your choice needs to have a modicum of respectability (this is not the chance to go crazy with cutouts or aim for a really short hemline), here is your big excuse to bust out the bold colour, fire up the ruffles, do a smash and grab on the sequins, unleash your inner lamé addict, brave something backless, go va-va-voom in velvet and, well, I think you get it. This year, more than any other, the concept of outgoing eveningwear has been wholeheartedly supported by designers, buyers and high-street stores.

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Style du Monde

This is no lame attempt to look fancy. The best black-tie dresses of 2017 have "I'VE ENTERED THE ROOM" writ large. So keep on reading to shop from my current 17 favourites—make sure you've got a showstopper for that next major event in the calendar.