There has been no shortage of memorable menswear moments on awards show red carpets this season, from the varied sartorial stylings of Jared "Man Bun" Leto at the Golden Globes to Pharrell Williams' scene-stealing hat at the Grammy Awards. But there was also some more subtle swagger too: Matthew McConaughey's array of Dolce & Gabbana looks, Macklemore in an emerald green velvet tuxedo and Bradley Cooper in a Tom Ford tuxedo that helped establish him as the new standard-bearer of the classic Hollywood look.
Jared Leto has been more rocker than actor in the last few years, so it shouldn't be surprising that his red carpet looks have a rocker vibe. What is surprising is how well he carries it off. The Golden Globes was a classic black tuxedo rakishly accessorized with a dandy black silk scarf, hair pulled back in an untidy man bun. At the SAG Awards, he took things up a notch tux-wise with a white bow tie, and let his hair down. For the Critics' Choice Film Awards, he opted for a black Balmain Homme ensemble with a bit of color in the form of an oxblood pocket square but no necktie. It was back to Balmain for the Grammys for what has been his standout ensemble to date: a black tuxedo jacket with a red and black embroidered shawl collar that ended at the waist, paired with a black T-shirt and something that looked half like a kilt and half like a black sweat shirt tied around his waist and knotted in the front. On anyone else the ensemble might look idiotic. But on Leto it was luxe at its just-gotta-be-me best.
Smokey Bear and Arby's logo jokes aside, the swagger of Pharrell Williams' Vivienne Westwood handmade felt "Mountain" hat paired with a red track jacket and jeans made that chapeau the fashion focus-puller of not just the 56th Grammy Awards but the entire awards show circuit to date and helped him win the Headwear Assn.'s Hat Person of 2014 Award.
Another card-carrying member of the green tux tribe, Matthew McConaughey wore a green velvet, three-piece, one-button, peak lapel tuxedo by Dolce & Gabbana to the Golden Globes. But rather than rest on his sartorial laurels, he continued to up his game (most noticeably in the jacket department) at successive red carpet appearances. At the Critics' Choice Film Awards, it was a silver silk textured houndstooth tuxedo with black satin peak lapels by Lanvin, and for the SAG Awards it was back to a Dolce & Gabbana three-piece (he's the face of the brand's One fragrance line), but this time with a textured printed gray jacket that struck the perfect balance between fashion forward and traditional. McConaughey's formalwear wardrobe on the current awards show circuit makes him one of the season's standouts.
For proof that man doesn't need to jettison self-expression when he dons a tuxedo, one need look no further than Ben Haggerty (the Macklemore of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis), who hit the Grammy Awards red carpet clad in a custom dark emerald green velvet tuxedo with a satin shawl collar jacket and cloth-covered buttons by Logan Neitzel Custom. Neitzel, a New York City-based fashion designer and "Project Runway" alumnus who has been styling Haggerty for a few years now, says, "Color for him is always the main focus. That color was his go-to — he really wanted it."
When he hit the Golden Globes red carpet, there wasn't any one big thing but every little thing that Bradley Cooper got just right, from the fit of the jacket to the perfect amount of shirt-sleeve showing at the cuff. It didn't hurt he wore a black, peak-lapel Tom Ford tuxedo. Cooper not only made the penguin suit his own, but also set the style bar for the awards season. And while the fashion sideshow won't truly be over until the last patent leather tux shoe has trod the Academy Awards red carpet on March 2, it's hard to imagine anyone taking the crown from the new king of the red carpet. Classic. Timeless. Perfection.