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Spring is almost here -- the season for proms, weddings and special celebrations. If you’ve got to go black tie, Oscar 2010 a.k.a The Academy Awards, provides a great guide on Hollywood’s Hunks who walked the red carpet with class.  Hollywood biggies embodied the basics on  the night of Hollywood’s ultimate red carpet showcase.  You won’t go wrong studying their style.  There are 7 elements of elegance for a tuxedo: the jacket, the shirt, the bowtie, the pocket square, the pants, the shoes, and the buttoneer.  Try these 7 tips to make your tux look tops.



The Thin Man and the Jacket

Tom Ford, a top-notch designer, whose directing debut in the “The Single Man” has set him on a new course of excellence, walked away with the iFashion Network Best Dressed Man Award.  Wearing his own tuxedo design,  Ford’s slim fit sensibility featured a satin shawl collar.


The one-button jacket cinches the waist for a sleek look.   It will give you the classic man triangle silhouette -- broad shoulders and sculptured waist.





The Buttoneer

Ford sported a tiny white carnation in his lapel in authentic Hollywood style for men. It truly adds an element of elegance to the look.


The Medium Size and the Lapel


Colin Firth may not have gotten a Best Actor Oscar, but he definitely was a winner in the red carpet category.  Firth flaunted his medium build body in his two-button tux, also designed by Tom Ford.  

The jacket featured a narrow peak lapel jacket.  This design is a refined version of the classic tux which is in step with the whole slim trend in men’s clothing.  There are two types of material for lapels.  Firth’s lapel has a matte finish.  Check out the two Oscar hosts to see the difference between the satin finish which is shiny and the matte.  You choose based on how much you want to shine!


The Mature Man and the Shirt & Bowtie


Oscar hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin both wore Tom Ford tuxedoes.  The designer chose two different tux styles based on the different body types.

tip2If you are slim like Martin, choose the two-button tux with a narrow peak lapel.

tip3If you heavier like Baldwin, choose a box style one-button tux with wide lapels and a deep V-cut down the center of the body, which seems to focus the eye on the center of the body rather than the girth. Bowties for both men were different based on the kind of shirt collar they were wearing.

tip4The spread collar shirt which is wider, should be matched with a big bow tie like Baldwin wore.  The slimmer cut diamond collar shirt should be worn with a smaller bowtie which Martin wore.


The Defiant Man and Shoes


Robert Downy Jr., still the “Bad Boy” at heart broke almost all the tuxedo rules. He scored big points for the slim fit Levin design tux with sharp satin peak lapels. But the big bright blue bowtie, although quirky but didn’t quite work.

tip5If you’re going to op for a “bad boy” bowtie, at least coordinate the color with your date’s ensemble color.  Although his wife’s gown did have some hints of blue it wasn’t enough to show the color balance between the two of them.

tip6Downey didn’t even wear a pocket square.  The usual white square top hanky gives some contrast with all that black of the tux.  And if you want to coordinate your bowtie and pocket square for more pop, that’s OK too!  Just make sure they match.

To top it all off, Downey donned some Lanvin blue high top sneakers with a light colored sole  It was daring but did not call out “classic” style.  And please, fellows, don’t wear your sunglasses at night – even if they are Lanvin like Downey’s.

tip7If you’re going to wear a slim fit tux then choose basic black pointed-toe shoes.  If you’re heavy-set and you’re wearing the box style tux like Baldwin, you can get by with a square or round toe shoe – if you must.





The Cummerbund

With the new slim fit trend in the tuxedo style, the cummerbund can be cumbersome. In the 1800s the cummerbund was a staple with a tux, but now with the new slim fit you don’t want it to bunch up or add bulk to the midriff.


Photo credit: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S

If the jacket is not worn open it could add bumps and lumps to the look.  One alternative is to opt for the scoop vest -- a true vintage look.  Actor Peter Sarsgaard, who was Maggie Gyllenhaal’s escort, sported the vest and looked quite the gentleman.

And kudos to Maggie for bringing in spring early with her bold blue print gown by Dries Van Noten gown.  Work with your woman to pull off the perfect prom, wonder wedding or unforgettable night.


Images courtesy prphotos.

Written by Francesca Simon
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