While the conspicuous nature of a ball gown or haute-couture seems to (somewhat) warrant the global attention of fashionable folk, formal menswear is much more understated than its feminine counterpart. But what may seem like a simple tuxedo is more subtle in its victories and also its defeats, and requires a more discerning eye.
The red carpet at the 2013 Academy Awards was host to myriad tuxedos. Tom Ford dressed Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman, as well as Chris Tucker, who sported an oversized bow tie that few others could carry off as effortlessly. Tuxedo go-to Armani dressed a menagerie of men, including Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Suraj Sharma, Liam Neeson, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Rudd and George Clooney.
While most people opt for classic black and white, there are always other options. Best Actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis (the first ever of Spielberg’s leading men to win) looked absolutely smashing in a shawl collar navy tux and bow tie. On the other hand, Samuel L. Jackson stood out like a sore thumb, quite literally, wearing a blood-red velvet smoking jacket amid his four Avengers co-stars, all dressed in black tuxedos. We’re all for trying something different, but this time we would have advised he…try something different.
Jamie Foxx wore a charcoal tux with black furnishings by Calvin Klein Collection that managed to look both understated, and stand out simultaneously. Chris Pine looked dashing in a double-breasted tux by Ermenegildo Zegna, one of a number of double-breasteds in attendance. Eddie Redmayne went with a more classic tux, by Alexander McQueen, but the skull-emblazoned velvet slippers switched the script, and the bow tie was perfectly tied and perfectly proportioned — something that cannot be said for a number of others in attendance. And finally (a few of those featured here would do well to note), one should always leave the bottom button of a tuxedo jacket, blazer, or sport coat undone. But never leave them entirely unbuttoned.
See below and decide for yourself.