Between the racial tensions that prompted Hollywood heavyweights like Spike Lee and Will Smith to boycott the big night to Leo’s triumphant — and overdue — win, this year’s Academy Awards received a lot of hype. And while the bulk of the evening’s viewers don’t sit in anticipation to see what the industry’s leading men will be wearing on the red carpet, many guys brought their sartorial A-game to last night’s affair. With everything from traditional tuxedos, to Jared Leto’s floral frippery, to lots of midnight blue suits, the red carpet was far from boring. Here, in no particular order, we break down the seven best menswear moments of the night.
1. Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen
For a nominee, finding an outfit for the Oscars is difficult. Sure, it’s strictly a first-world problem, but hear us out. As an award show attendee, it’s your duty to pick a garment that stands out from the others. However, as a nominee, it’s also your duty to wear something that is equally classic. After all, it would be pretty awkward to accept the award of a lifetime in a kitschy orange suit. The Danish Girl star, and last year’s choice for best actor, is no stranger to this fashion predicament and schemed up an alternative that teeters between subtle and statement: experimenting with texture. This isn’t the first time Redmayne spiced up a pair of unassuming slacks with a plush jacket, but this combination never fails to yield chic results. Accessorized with tactile loafers, the actor turned proper British style on its head (and looked good doing it).
2. Leoandro DiCaprio in Giorgio Armani
Since the beginning of this year’s awards season, it was very clear that it would be Leo’s night at the Oscars. With six nominations under his belt, the guy has been waiting for years to receive some historic recognition for his acting chops. Though he didn’t push the sartorial envelope — not like we’d ever expect him to wear an embellished Dolce & Gabbana suit a la Kevin Hart — the night’s big winner looked like a true leading man. His bow tie to lapel ratio was on point, plus the suit fit him like a glove. But the notorious party boy didn’t look too squeaky clean at last night’s affair: DiCaprio’s subtle scruff added an edgy flair to his polished ensemble.
3. Mark Ruffalo in Valentino
Unless you’re Jared Leto, aka Hollywood’s reigning king of pigmented suits, sporting a colorful tuxedo to the Academy Awards can be hit or miss. However, Mark Ruffalo hit that sweet spot between boring and boisterous. The nominee’s midnight blue jacket offered a fun pop against a slew of ho-hum black tuxedos, but the garment’s black lapel and matching pants grounded this potentially risky choice. And while fellow nominee Sylvester Stallone dressed his blue suit with a moody black shirt, we like how Ruffalo blended in and paired his iteration with a basic white shirt and black bow tie.
4. Michael B. Jordan in Ralph Lauren Purple Label
If there are still any sore feelings after Michael B. Jordan was snubbed all season long, consider this outfit the perfect way to say, “Eat your heart out, Academy.” Whether experimenting with intricate brocades or punchy hues, Hollywood’s “it” boy is never one to shy away from a sartorial risk. And while his double-breasted suit from Ralph Lauren Purple Label is on the safer side in terms of his personal red carpet style, the silhouette was refreshing and had fashion guy written all over it. Though the floppy bow tie was a tad too large for the suit, it complemented and balanced the jacket’s thick shawl lapel.
5. Ryan Gosling in Gucci
Hear ye, hear ye: There’s a world beyond the confines of a basic, black bow tie. According to the decrees of traditional menswear, it’s protocol for one to match his bow tie with the color of his suit. But, as a vision in Gucci, Ryan Gosling did the unexpected: He sported a white bow tie with a black suit and white dress shirt. Gasp. If the whites aren’t the same hue, this combination runs the risk of looking sloppy. With the help of a really awesome stylist, the two pieces were coordinated to a tee and offered a cool and more casual take on the ubiquitously stuffy silhouette.
6. Jacob Tremblay in Armani Junior
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: How could a 9-year-old boy in a tuxedo not merit a spot on our best-dressed list? While his slightly over-sized suit was charming, the actor (who has frequently voiced his affection for the Star Wars series) accessorized his look with Darth Vader socks. Half sophisticated, half boyish, but 100% adorable. And even though his character in Room was known for his unruly long locks, we must add that Tremblay’s real-life mane is always perfectly slicked back (which further tugs at our heartstrings).
7. Chris Rock in Burberry
We could only imagine that hosting the Academy Awards is not easy (just think how the ceremony went so, so wrong under the control of James Franco and Neil Patrick Harris). Not only did Chris Rock deliver what many are calling a legendary monologue that addressed the night’s hotly contested nominees, he looked pretty good while doing it. A white jacket is a safe, surefire way to make a statement at an awards show: It’s bound to pop in a sea of black suits and isn’t as risky as a integrating a zesty hue. Is this look reinventing the wheel? No. However, we must admit that this color combination is perfect for any host. Plus, the fit of this Burberry number was impeccable.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs