A basic black tie becomes a creative black tie with the right accessories.

Update a dinner jacket with diamond studs and cuff links, says Paul Wilmot, senior vice president of communications for Calvin Klein.Or try a single diamond stud on the corner of a formal bow tie.

Formal attire requires formal shoes. Tom Julian, associate fashion director of the Men's Fashion Association, suggests slip-ons or lace-ups in nubuck suede, patent or grosgrain. Leave the wing tips at home.

A black microfiber raincoat, either single- or double-breasted, can serve for office and parties. "You can get a great one for about $225, and with a zip-out lining it's even more versatile," Julian says.

While it's acceptable to wear a bow tie and cummerbund set, a solid bow tie with a patterned cummerbund looks modern, according to Julian. Current patterns include mosaics, tapestries and neat florals.

Either way, says Julian, the cummerbund is worn with the pleats up. "It's not only fashionable, but it allows you to catch the crumbs."