Never mind who won this year’s Golden Globes. What did they wear? For decades what the stars wore at the Academy Awards told us a lot about where fashion and style were heading in America. More recently the popularity of the Golden Globes has made it, too, a barometer of the prevailing fashion.
So the good news is that formality is back. Few thing make a man look as good as a peaked-lapel dinner suit (referred to incorrectly by vulgarians and the general public as a tuxedo) with grosgrain or satin lapels and a deep-pleated white pique shirt and jauntily tied black bow tie. Think Cary Grant, Robert Redford and David Niven.
Supposedly the “tuxedo” was invented by aristocrats in Tuxedo Park, New York. Tired of the formality of white tie and tails in the evening, they wanted something less restraining but still dashing, something they could dine, dance and play cards in. The braided stripe down the outside pants leg was designed to distinguish this from the black suit your chauffeur would wear.
Increasingly, thank god, fewer and fewer artistic types are showing up at these events with a black suit, black open-collar suit and white Chuck Taylors. The smart ones don the somber ensemble of a well-cut black suit (which is actually midnight-blue, as true black looks green under certain lights) with a crisp white shirt and well-knotted black tie. It’s an European look but far preferable to the sneakers- jeans-and-tux jacket combination that never looks anything but dorky, even on Woody Allen
Even Brad Pitt, who has grown increasingly slovenly as his grooming worsens, looked smashing in a butterfly bow-tie ( clip-on) and Brioni “tuxedo”. Ricky Gervais, though, committed the faux pas of an entirely black shirt, black four-in-hand tie and black suit . Only Johnny Cash would wear that if he were hosting the Golden Globes, but he’s not because he’s dead.
The open collar-but-fine-jacket look sported by Robert Downey, Jr, gave his the appearance of channeling Errol Flynn. He pulls it off with aplomb but then he’s Robert Downey, Jr., a certified bad-boy. This look should be avoided by mere mortals. A self-tied and slightly imperfect black strait edge bow-tie is correct. Bill Buckley did so many black-tie events that he took to wearing a simple white Brooks Brothers button down shirt with an art-fully tied floppy boy tie a, a needle-point cummerbund and patent-leather pumps with a groisgrains bow.
Jeff Bridges hit a distinctly ‘60’s note in a black shirt and red tie. Perhaps at Christmas….. No, not even then. The red tie/black tuxedo thing is so….Cleveland. Better red lisle socks if you are trying to break up the monotony of the penguin look.
Roger Stone is a former Nixon operative and longtime political consultant, as well as one of the best-dressed men in South Florida.