Get it right for the UK’s only black-tie festival.



Words: C. Saramowicz


Every year, hundreds of people come together for the UK’s only black tie festival, Henley Festival. Taking place over five days in July, the festival is a celebration of the arts, bringing together music and food lovers in the beautiful town of Henley-on-Thames.

If you have decided on attending this year, you’re probably wondering what is and isn’t appropriate to wear. Henley Festival’s dress code is pretty unique, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before heading down. Let’s take a look at some of the options below.



Moss - black tie suits


The dos and don’ts of the Henley Festival dress code

Henley Festival is strictly black tie, which means no trainers, jeans, leather jackets or casualwear of any kind. Aside from that, most formalwear will be acceptable – you can choose traditional black tie with a tuxedo and bow-tie, or a dark lounge suit with a shirt and tie and dress shoes. As long as you’re adhering to the formal dress code, you’re good.

The festival also has a strict no trainers policy, so don’t show up with in your Air Force 1s or you may be refused entry.

Is a tuxedo mandatory?

Though many festival goers choose to wear a full tux, it’s ok to wear a lounge suit as long as it looks formal. Think tailored fit, smart shirt and a tie. If you need a little more help on suits vs tuxs, read all about the differences between to the two here.

If the weather looks promising, look into lightweight versions of formal suiting. Our black linen shawl tux, above left, is a lighter and more breathable tuxedo that is ideal for the summer months. It also features Sorona, a natural fibre that assists with wrinkle recovery and has an extra bit of stretch.

Alternatively, add a bit colour by swapping your black tux for a velvet, jewel-toned jacket. It’ll add a level of interest to your look while still looking put together and dress code appropriate.



What to wear on your feet

Henley Festival is the ideal opportunity to dig out the dress shoes. Think high-shine, polished to perfection, ideally complimenting your black tie look. For an ultra-polished look, our classic Mayfair black patent dress shoe will catch the eye and up your outfit game too. If you prefer a more subtle look, these royal black single monk shoes feature buckle detailing and a soft leather lining for extra breathability if the weather heats up.



Accessorise in the spirit of Henley Summer Festival

No black tie look is complete without the bow-tie. We suggest going with one that reflects your personal style, or complements your tux. If you want to go all out and tie your own bow-tie, we commend you. Alternatively, get one that clips on and doesn’t require any fuss, like our black ready tie bow tie. If you want to take it up a notch and add a bit of pattern, our bow-ties made with Liberty fabric also have a matching cummerbund and pocket square for the full black-tie look.



Our pick for the ultimate Henley Festival outfit

There’s no such thing as a perfect Henley Festival look, but if you’re searching for something that adheres to the dress code and will have you looking and feeling good, these two really win the day. In a slim fit for a sharp silhouette and classic peak satin lapels, you’ll enjoy the festival in style (and look great in all the photos too).