Oh, The Horror (2014 Oscars Men’s Style)

Oh, The Horror (2014 Oscars Men’s Style)


The red carpet was awash in sartorial disaster at the 2014 Oscars, as per usual.  It pains me so much to see anyone, especially celebrities, do black tie with such recklessness.  I do understand that many celebrities use the red carpet to try new looks (this year the white dinner jacket was huge), differentiate themselves and cash in on endorsement deals to wear a given designers clothing.  I feel bad for many of the designers, as many of their muses looked like, well, shit.  Indeed, any PR is not good PR.  True, there were some who did dress well, but they were easily out numbered by aforementioned disasters.

Before I get into my typical line of critique let’s review a 8 really simple guidelines for wearing a tuxedo (or dinner jacket).

-No notch lapels, ever.  Shawl collars and peak lapels are the only appropriate options.

-No flap or patch pockets, ever.  Stick with besom and non flapped pockets.

-Single breasted jackets should have no more than 1 button.  2 and 3 button jackets should be outlawed.

-A cummerbund or vest (waistcoat) must be worn to cover the waist.

-Suspenders or side tabs are obligatory.  Belts are an anathema and acceptable precisely 0% of the time.

-Long neckties are also appropriate 0% of the time.  Bow ties are de rigueur.

-Black tie means BLACK TIE.  Thus, your bow tie should be black.

-A pocket square should be worn.  White linen is ideal.  A flower in the boutonniere is also acceptable.

-Never, ever, ever wear a pre tied bow tie.

And then of course the whole ensemble should fit well.  Sadly, many of our present day male celebrities can’t get any of it right.

Let’s start things off on a positive note, Alexander Payne was almost one of the best dressed men of the night in this shawl collared single button dinner jacket.  The fit is pretty solid and the look is spot on.  Except, his bow tie is pre-tied.  Oh, the horror.
Bill Murray, as always, is in some state of sartorial terror.  Would love to know the story behind that pre tied green bow tie.
Brad Pitt in Tom Ford, certainly one of the more well turned out gents of the night.  The fit is solid and the bow tie doesn’t look to be pre tied.  Now he just needs a new hair cut.
bradley cooper 2014 oscars gq
Bradley Cooper, also in Tom Ford, and also one of the best dressed men of the night.  He would do better, however, if he was showing less watch.
Christian Bale persists in tormenting me with his insistence on wearing a black shirt and black long tie.  This time he even added a black vest.  When will he stop!?
Hide the watch, rid yourself of the flap pockets and burn the white bow tie.
Chris Hemsworth comes so close to #killingit status.  Except that bow tie looks to be pre tied.  The burgundy-purple jacket suits him well and the fit is great.
Michael Strahan, on the other hand, is a far cry from said status.  Although the fit and the general idea for the look are great the details are all wrong.  The long tie, the flap pockets and the silk facing on all of the pockets do no man any favors.  Next time Michael.
Buttoning stances haven’t been seen hitting those lows since the 80’s.  Although I am a fan of a low button, that is too low.  But the fit and look of the tux are still better than most and would be even better if he was wearing a cummerbund.
Again, where is the cummerbund?!  Everything else is nearly perfect.  The self tied bow tie, the velvet slippers, the fit…  If only the cummerbund.
To be honest, I am really intrigued by this look.  Although the jacket has two buttons and flap pockets the fabric is really interesting.  It almost looks like a Donegal tweed with the flecks in the fabric.  I kind of love the idea of a tweed tux.  It’s just unfortunate the rest of the tux didn’t fall in place.
I always hope that Leo will do black tie right.  Yet every time I am let down.  The fit of this rig is certainly better than in the past but he’s STILL going for the notch lapel and 2 button front!
Ugh.  It’s never a good thing when your watch is as wide as your lapels…
This looks like what would happen if Thom Browne and Men’s Warehouse took a dump next to each other and painted it black.
The fit of Mr. Perry’s tux is certainly better than most.  But that white bow tie ruins it all.
Gentlemen, take note. This is the type of watch you wear with a tux – simple, elegant and classic.  It is not too large for his wrist and it has a black leather strap.  The style and fit of the tux are also spot on.  This is how it’s done.  One of the very few men who dressed as well as they can act.
I will keep this photo for the sole purpose of one day telling my children that if they ever dress like this they will be disowned.  Oh, the horror.
As I said, the white dinner jacket was coming on strong.  And rightfully so, it’s a great way to do black tie a little differently while still keeping things classic.  Unfortunately, however, Mr. McConaughey didn’t make it to the tailor before hitting the red carpet.
His co-star from Dallas Buyers Club got the fit down better but ruined that by wearing a pre tied red bow tie and flap pockets.
And then the always terdtacular Ryan Seacrest.
This is the photo I will never show my kids because I don’t want them to know that people ever dressed this poorly.  At least Tara Lipinski looks hot.
Michael Fassbender needs to hem his pants.  End of story.  Note the cuffs on the sleeves, a nice detail.
Secretly, I love what Pharrell did.  He nails the fit and details of the jacket and shorts.  It’s just so wrong I almost want to say it’s right.  But not so secretly, I am really pissed off at him for taking my idea of shorts with a dinner jacket.



PS – if you think I’ve been too harsh on these celebrities please sound off in the comments section below so that I know to sugar coat things less next time.

Image credit: US Weekly, Oscars, Getty Images, Hollywood Life, Attire Club


  1. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t it never appropriate to wear a watch in black tie, as it indicates the man is concerned with business affairs rather than a leisurely formal evening? Certainly more formal than is realistic or applicable, but I believe Sven Raphael Schneider included this in his guide to formal wear.

  2. Enjoyed your critique as usual and agree with them all. One thing I noticed too was that bar one every photo showed jackets with too-long sleeves. How the hell do these blokes get it so wrong when they have stylists and other help to guide them?

  3. You comments are without a doubt spot on. The absolute disregard for the rules has led to a bunch of handsome men looking terrible on the biggest night of the year. They need to focus on learning the rules before breaking them in such a cavalier manner.

    • Konrad,
      I agree, or, at least, when they go to break them, make sure the clothes fit well. A man can get away with so much more when the clothes fit. Or I guess in the case of OJ, when they don’t fit…

  4. “This looks like what would happen if Thom Browne and Men’s Warehouse took a dump next to each other and painted it black.”


  5. What the hell is terdtacular??? Gentleman do not use made up words! Other than your grammar – your commentary is spot on.

  6. It will never, ever cease to amaze me how many men neglect to get their pants hemmed. Especially before they appear in front of millions on national television.

    Oh, the horror, indeed.


  7. Nicely observed and laid out. I am not convinced by the white jacket, maybe for a lower end “Black Tie” event, but not something of this stature. With reference to Christian Bale – he did play “The Dark Knight”!

    • Rob,
      It is certainly not for lower end black tie events. It is more of a seasonal and outdoors thing – like seersucker. True, he did play the dark knight, and partly as such he is better fitted for the all black combo, but even then, i still can endorse it.

  8. I’ve got no problem with your critique of the clothing issues presented above as they were all spot on. My problem, understanding that this is your blog, is in your delivery.

    The name of your site implies a certain level of knowledge and refinement in ones thoughts and actions yet your comments belie the fact.

    “Now he needs a new hair cut.” After posting pictures such as in this article http://www.thefineyounggentleman.com/shopping-advice/arden-reed-suit-review/ ? Make sure your own house is in order before you criticize another man’s house.

    “YES I AM SCREAMING AT YOU. CAN YOU HEAR ME?!” and “I will keep this photo for the sole purpose of one day telling my children that if they ever dress like this they will be disowned. Oh, the horror.” Are you a drama queen?

    “This looks like what would happen if Thom Browne and Men’s Warehouse took a dump next to each other and painted it black.” and “And then the always terdtacular Ryan Seacrest.” Each of these come off as juvenile and uneducated, much the same as one who peppers their conversations with vulgarities because they aren’t well versed enough to carry on an intelligent conversation.

    “PS – if you think I’ve been too harsh on these celebrities please sound off in the comments section below so that I know to sugar coat things less next time.” Are you a child?

    And the worst offense, in my opinion, is to refer to someone by their first name as if you are their familiar or their superior. There is nothing gentlemanly in doing that.

    Knock as much sugar off as you wish. Present your opinions as the most bitter of fruits if that is what you want to do. Just do it in a manner that proves you are the gentleman you proclaim to be.

    • Hahaha!! There’s always “this guy” to rip apart and dissect others… Thanks for the laugh “Vestal” the hypocrisy that overflows from your comment is nothing short of ridiculous . Time to turn off the computer and enjoy the outdoors don’t you thing?

  9. White linen pocket square is more formal than silk or cotton?

    I always thought silk is… more luxurious fabric while linen is casual and wrinkle easily

  10. Pharrell has been doing this look for Yeeaars now… Nothing new, but he (as always) looks fantastic .. He’s always the right amount of funky, love the no socks look ..

  11. The best tux story I know of was James Hunt turning up impeccably dressed in tux…. only flip flops instead of patent.