Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Wear a Tux (or why do most men insist on dressing like a shlep?)

Warning, this article is not very flattering to the male of the species. Which is to say it offers some rather pointed and generally accurate observations about the way men tend to dress.
THIS Sunday, scores of men — some celebrated actors, others appendages to famous glamour-pusses — will expose themselves to the scrutiny of the world and, more alarmingly, Joan Rivers as they stride the red carpet at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Most are likely to be clad in what is surely among the more foolproof dress uniforms ever devised: the tuxedo. Yet few will manage to get it right. Why is that?

“Men take advantage of their advantages in general,” Fran Lebowitz, the humorist and herself a tuxedo wearer, said recently. “But not with this.”

Despite being given what Ms. Lebowitz termed “this perfect thing to wear,” both stars and arm-pieces are certain to commit sartorial blunders at the Academy Awards. They will wear their pants too long and puddled on their shoes, as Brad Pitt did at the recent Screen Actors Guild awards. They will wear businesslike four-in-hand tie knots, as men like Robert De Niro routinely do, and not the requisite bow tie. They will turn up in suits that fit as though borrowed from Dad, or in shirts with wing collars best left to maîtres d’hôtel, or in colors that make them look like Steve Van Zandt.

“That whole black shirt thing is terrible,” said the designer John Varvatos. “When you’re talking about these kinds of awards shows, with the elegance of most of the women, the men should be a counterpoint to that.”

Often enough these men display their “renegade” natures by adding loopy improvisations: sneakers or Samuel L. Jackson frock coats or open-necked shirts.

They will monkey around in some way with monkey-suit perfection — unless, that is, they happen to be George Clooney. Mr. Clooney always looks Rat Pack immaculate.
Read the rest here.


The Archer of the Forest said...

Well, is this really a man thing, or is this really a "Hollyweird" thing.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

In my experience it is most definitely not limited to Hollyweird.

The Archer of the Forest said...

Maybe I am from a more formal section of the country, but how do you screw up a wearing of a tuxedo?

Anonymous said...

Tip for men: buy a copy of Dressing the Man. Study it. Memorize it.

Matushka Anna said...

The need to be a renegade is a dreadful temptation - an attention-grabbing stunt. Carrying yourself off with elegance and grace is far better than "making a statement".

(I think you can only screw up tux-wearing on purpose. It's fool-proof. I guess it's just not idiot-proof.)