As many turn to the Academy Awards for their fashion fix, analysis, style successes and pariahs, and so forth, too often is the menswear forgotten entirely. Though the fashions may be both subtler and lacking Angelina Jolie’s legs, there is just as much opportunity to go down the red carpet right, or very, very wrong.
This year maintained the relevance of the shawl tuxedo as a more casual class alternative, and those who played by the rules looked great, namely Colin Firth. Black shirts, however, seemed to be a ledge that adventurous attendees kept testing. It was occasionally pulled off well, but the only consensus on the topic was the lack thereof. The black and white of the tuxedo seemed too classic a look to deviate from – most of those in all black failed to put in the total effort, or mixed in too many fashion-forward detailing or shades of black to have a cohesive look. Jonah Hill fell particularly to the latter.
While we’re on the topic of “don’t”, bigger seems to no longer be better, especially when it comes to lapels. They may look sharp, but when they start touching your shoulders you risk venturing into vampire territory. Justin Timberlake looked fantastic otherwise, but could have maximized his class with a little minimalizing of his lapels.
With so many clear style mishaps, and the classics looking as good as ever, there seems little room to innovate. But if you focus on which details you want to incorporate and pull them off cleanly, you can be refreshingly debonair. Going double breasted was an uncommon choice that worked out especially well for Tom Hanks. He looked classy in a less modern suit, and stood out better for it.
Channeling the past is a great option, but always start with clean basics, and build your interest generating features from there. Already using taped lapels? Maybe you don’t need a crazy bowtie. Likewise with double-breasted, flashy studs, or interesting color choices. Pick something, you don’t need them all.
Finally, one of the biggest standout, and most widely lauded male style icon was none other than Christopher Plummer, provide that with age comes venerability and the ability to wear whatever you want. He looked entirely dignified in a blue velvet blazer - obviously a dangerous choice- demonstrating that hard and fast rules are hard to come by, and dressing for the individual is just as important as dressing for the event.
Images courtesy of esquire.com