2012 Academy Awards Red Carpet

Posted on February 27, 2012

The biggest black-tie event of the year wrapped up another awards season yesterday evening and as expected most tuxedos seen on the 84th Annual Academy Awards red carpet were tastefully conservative.  Notable trends were the return of shawl-collar jackets (yay) and wing-collar shirts (yech).  Pocket squares were also very popular.

The Best of the Best

Gary Oldman in Paul Smith bespoke 3-piece suit with trimmed lapels and subtle polka-dot pocket square. Well done, sir.

Rapper turned director Sean Combs in Spencer Hart. Impeccable as always.

The Return of the Shawl Collar

Bret McKenzie, writer of Best Song (and very funny member of Flight of the Conchords).

Note the classic button hole in Colin Firth’s Tom Ford tuxedo.

Actor Zachary Quinto and writer J.C. Chandor.

Bradley Cooper is stunning in midnight blue.

Honorable Mentions

Brad Pitt returns to classic form with a Tom Ford peaked-lapel one-button tuxedo (which could use some shortening of the sleeves and trousers).

Also wearing Tom Ford is Tom Hanks who rocks the double-breasted look.

Gerard Butler looking as dapper as ever at the Vanity Fair after-party.

Tying One On

Tom Cruise (in Armani) and director Tate Taylor show how best to counter the banality of a long tie with a classic one-button peaked-lapel jacket.


As always, the appearance of many perfectly good outfits was ruined by an exposed shirt navel. If omitting a proper waist cover at least keep your hands out of your pockets to avoid splaying your jacket open (Jason Segel) and leave the hip-hugging trouser styles for designer jeans (Brian Selznick).

And for God’s sake keep your jacket closed (unlike Judd Apatow).

Not So Well Dressed

Jean Dujardin may have clinched Best Actor but his shirt sure isn’t going to win any awards. The wing collar is too short to properly dress the neck and the bosom too thin to properly hide the skin tone underneath.

Jonah Hill demonstrates how black-on-black demotes what should be a skillful play in contrast to an undefined bland mass. (Christian Bale also looked like a disembodied head and hands.)

If renting a tuxedo for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year isn’t bad enough, actor Matthew Lillard can’t even find one that fits.

What the hell is that?

Dishonorable Mention

Sartorially speaking, the broadcast got off to a dismal start when host Billy Crystal appeared in a white-tie outfit seemingly assembled by a part-time sales clerk at a Halloween costume shop.  The  shirt lacked the mandatory wing collar, single-link cuffs and reinforced bosom, the bow tie was pre-tied, the waistcoat extended well below the front of the tailcoat, and the coat’s arms were too long to show any shirt cuff. As a result what should have been an elegant, aristocratic ensemble was instead a sloppy, pedestrian mess.

Sadly, American presidents have been committing many of these same faux pas for years but that’s no excuse for the Oscars wardrobe department considering they executed the same outfit so well for host Hugh Jackman in 2009.

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Posted in: Red Carpet