AND THE OSCAR FOR MEN’S FORMALWEAR GOES TO….

by John Russel Jones

The good news for menswear at The Oscars is that, for the most part, classic tuxedo style still remains supreme. The bad news is that, among the more stellar standouts, neckties — indeed even shirts themselves — have been done away with entirely. (As far as the other [toxic] masculine behavior that was being exhibited at the presentation, the only thing I’ll say, is that haven’t all of us said (Chris) and done (Will) things we regret?)

Personally, I have always been a fan of the tuxedo. There’s something about the way the expression of timeless, if uniform, style is so subtle and clean. Simple choices about a lapel shape, a tie, or which cuff links to wear can make a statement that telegraphs much more than over-the-top statements. Kevin Jonas and Karamo Brown, for example, kept it beautifully classic in Brunello Cucinelli, the latter also wearing Bruno Magli patent lace-ups. Shawn Mendes let a simple ring and his Vacheron Constantin watch finish the outfit gracefully.

  • HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Karamo Brown attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

That said, though, there is a time for everything, and besides being an august occasion, the Oscars are also a great big party, and, sometimes it’s okay to just let loose. I thought Timothy Chalamet’s Louis Vuitton women’s collection jacket was not only perfectly timed and on-trend, but given the fact that it was apparently hot as blazes in the California sunshine, wearing it shirtless also seemed like a smart decision! Simu Liu also looked dazzling in his sumptuous red tuxedo by Versace (perhaps a subtle reference to his costume from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings?). I did spot a few missteps, though. The Academy requested that everyone wear pink or green so Daniel Kaluuya (or his stylist) managed to find the single shade of green that doesn’t look good on anybody (and check me here, tailored clothing friends: were the proportions all wrong for his body, or is that just me?). As for Wesley Snipes’ formal take on shorts? At least he got that gorgeous aubergine color right.

How will all this affect men’s formal business and the upcoming wedding season? Like so many categories, hopefully retailers have played it somewhat safe, keeping a classic, salable inventory. Yet we can also hope. that men, who haven’t had to spend very much money on their wardrobes in the past few years, will be willing to lay down some cash for a statement-making tuxedo, and hopefully one that’s custom. As for whether or not they’ll be wearing shirts? Let’s just hope that the local gym is also reaping some of that saved-up cash.