A while ago I had an invitation to a dinner for former IT managers at British Airways. It would have been a lovely opportunity to meet up with former colleagues and find out what has happened to them in the years since I left the airline. But I didn't go. Why? Because they decided it would be 'fun' for the event to be black tie. Dinner jackets (tuxedos) and bow ties for the men, flash frocks for the women.
When I was a student (and for a number of years after), I wore black tie at the drop of a hat, but these days, the concept repels me. I'd rather eat dog food. It's partly because I've abandoned that sign of corporate bondage, the tie altogether. When I started consulting for large companies I always wore a tie, because I thought it was expected. These days, it's almost the norm for consultants to turn up with no tie (quite possibly a suit, but no tie). I really can't see any reason for wearing those silly strips of cloth - doubly so for the ones tied in a ludicrous bow, something I'm pathologically incapable of doing, so I have to resort to getting someone else to tie it, or using the nasty pre-tied ones.
The other reason I don't like black tie specifically is that it has no function but to be elitist. To say 'Look at me, I'm special.' (Or possibly a waiter.) Just how much a source of embarrassment it is becomes clear if you try going for a drink in a pub before/after an event while dressed in black tie. You feel conspicuous and stupid.
I've nothing against dressing smartly on occasions. I'm happy to turn up with a good jacket and trousers. I don't try to make a point by arriving at events in jeans and trainers. But the concept of having a special kind of jacket and tie just for 'dressing for dinner' is at best Edwardian. This is the twenty-first century. Please get over this silly concept (take note, cruise companies), and consign it to the dustbin of history where it belongs.