If you're an avid reader of this blog, you know my feelings about awards show recaps in regard to men's fashion: they're pointless. The best dressed men are more or less wearing the exact same thing. Sure, there might be some small changes to the formula: a white tux instead of a black one (Common) or a velvet tuxedo jacket instead of lightweight wool or cotton (Eddie Redmayne). But there's usually nothing to write home about. Unlike women's fashion, there aren't any ruffles or long trains or earrings valued at $10K. The real fun in men's fashion are the mistakes. When our male celebrities try to break away from the fold, the results can often be disastrous. Hideous. Even frightening. While most of the fellas played it safe last night, there were 3 men in particular that need to make some adjustments to their stylist teams stat.
1. Jared Leto
We all love Jared Leto. He's the edgy outsider and former teen heartthrob that makes men and women melt alike. He's often celebrated for his left of center style choices, and last night was no exception in his ongoing efforts to stand out amongst the crowd. But on the Oscar red carpet, he stood out for all the wrong reasons. The red piping on this black tuxedo feels cheap and amateur like he went digging in a bargain bin at T.J. Maxx. Or even more similar to something a 17-year-old high school senior would rent for prom. It's cheesy and tacky. And the fact that he's wearing a boutonniere as a tie makes matters so much worse.
How to fix it: An all-black tuxedo option can be a stellar, fashion-forward choice. But avoid contrast color piping in general. If you want to add some elements of depth to an otherwise traditional look, look for tuxedo jackets that have contrasting lapel materials instead. See below for some alternative examples.
2. Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart is one of the leading comics in the industry now. And what little time he had onstage during the Oscars telecast was both hilarious and poignant. But his tuxedo choice had me laughing for all the wrong reasons. His bejeweled tuxedo jacket looked like the kind of thing your cousin would splurge on after winning the lottery. It isn't stylish or trendy or even well made. It's just expensive. It screams I have money, but money can't buy style. Yet again, another all-black tuxedo derivative that fails.
How to fix it: If you want to add some spark, try a bow tie with a contrast color and material like white satin. Bounce off this look with a matching pocket square. Go for the small details to inject some edge. Avoid over the top antics like Hart's jeweled detailing.
3. Michael Strahan
You've gotta give it to him. Michael Strahan is quite lovable, and despite hosting a nationally syndicated morning show, he has the aw shucks charm of a guy who could easily be your next door neighbor. Unfortunately, he also takes the same fashion missteps as your next door neighbor. His tuxedo choice for his pre-awards show interview segments looks like something he found buried in a time capsule from 1975. It was a like a costume suit from an Adam Sandler movie. I respect his attempt to bring in some new color to the red carpet. But this...this is just awful.
How to fix it: Don't ever wear this color. I repeat, don't ever wear this color. If you want to take a risk with color, go for a navy tux alternative or stick to playing with the details like pocket squares and bow ties.
I wanted to see some adventurous guys on the red carpet, but these attempts were misguided at best. Slowly but surely we'll start to see some well-dressed men who take their fashion left of center in a thrilling way. Until then, bring on the boring old tuxes.