“How to capture A List red carpet looks, without the stylist.”
Ask most women and they’ll gladly tell you: there’s nothing quite like a clean-shaven man in a classic, beautifully cut tuxedo. If in any doubt, this is the perfect default formal outfit for any guy. In fact, it’s quite sad that a dinner jacket looks out of a place in a supermarket or pub. The red carpet is, of course, the perfect place for parading such attire. But how many of us are really pencilling the Oscars or Grammys into next year’s diaries?
The good news is that weddings, christenings, Bah Mitzvahs, your football club’s awards night — essentially any event where something beyond that old suit is expected of you — become your very own red carpet. And now, that doesn’t just mean a standard tuxedo. Times are changing when it comes to men and their formal get-ups. Nick Bainser of noted menswear blog www.bainser.com says: “Men used to be able to get away with the same very tired DJ at every event, now thankfully people are noticing what men wear and are changing up”.
Thanks to designers like Tom Ford and Christopher Bailey at Burberry, guys are getting a look in when it comes to the column inches and web pages dedicated to fashion on the red carpet. It might only be a slight tweak, like adding a high rise waistcoat to your dinner suit as Bradley Cooper did with such aplomb in his Tom Ford look for The Oscars. There’s licence to experiment further, too. Take a look at Eddie Redmayne (above, with bonus Amanda Seyfried) and Damian Lewis in plush, jewel coloured velvet. Or there’s Idris Elba with his majorly statement-making Christian Louboutin footwear.
There are limits and certain codes, however. “I think Justin Timberlake got it completely wrong at the Grammys dressing in a three-piece Prince of Wales check,” says Bainer. Indeed. Whilst it may sound like a perfectly fashion-forward outfit, it defies too many menswear traditions. Justin would have rocked the look had he been off for Sunday lunch at Downton Abbey, but an evening awards ceremony? Not so much.
Luckily, the high street is already offering plenty of more affordable alternatives to bespoke Gucci. Topman has a great selection of blazers, including an excellent, solid black velvet offering for £100 and a navy style with black lapels (above) if you fancy replicating Daniel Day-Lewis’s Oscars look.
Meanwhile personal favourites J.Crew have a super stylish shawl collar jacket in their Ludlow collection for a pricey but not ludicrous £460.91 that’ll never, ever fall out of fashion. If you’re still a little wary, but desperate to add some style to your evening wear, then you really can’t go wrong with a £20 tartan bow tie from American Apparel. Now, don’t let me catch you at that rental shop again.