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  • February 2012
    M T W T F S S

Alan and Jimmy Au’s interview with NBC’s Style Goes Strong on The Oscars!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 29, 2012

Fashion Police: Men’s Oscar Style – Epic Fail

Tips and tricks to really look good in a tuxedo and bow tie


I thought we were going to be talking about how to dress shorter men, when I began a conversation with Alan Au of the country’s only short men’s designer store, Jimmy Au’s for Men 5’8″ and Under. Being that it’s located in Beverly Hills, you can imagine that they have quite the celebrity clientele.

But also being that we’re still on the tails of the Oscars, that was the topic topmost in mind. Still, I was surprised when Alan Au proclaimed the Oscars a “Stylist Fail” for men’s dressing.

I related a red carpet exchange I watched between Brad Pitt and Tim Gunn, about how much easier it is for men to get dressed – just put on your tuxedo and go. (Although Tim Gunn did admit to Maya Rudolph that he was also wearing shapewear – yes, they have shapewear for men.)

Tuxedo Trappings
But Alan said Brad Pitt got it wrong! What? “He had on a skinny cropped jacket. One type of guy who can’t wear that: someone who’s athletically fit. It just doesn’t work on them.”

P. Diddy aka Sean Combs apparently fell into the same trap. Proportion is key – for balance.”

So I submitted Gary Oldman as most dapper. Virtual hand-slap! Ouch. “His 3-piece? Too busy, especially with that quarter-inch trim…. Maybe if it had been an eighth of an inch.”


Yes, it gets down to that fine a point with men’s fashion. It reminded me of my conversation with Modern Gentlemen expert Jason Tesauro on men’s gloves. He had said men’s fashion was varied, but subtle.

So subtle it can get down to the width of your trim as to whether you’re well dressed or not. I should have paid closer attention.

The knotty issue of bow ties
Almost no one had a good bow tie either, according to Au.

If the bow tie is real, that is, really tied – then it’s OK if it’s slightly off.

But if it is a clip on … it has to be straight. What happens most often, Au says, is that the bow is perfect, but the clasp is off so the bow tie goes askew. Which just screams CLIP-ON.

Also, beware a too-small bow tie – it will make your face look fat, Au says.

A good bow tie should be the width of your face, I’m not 100% sure how that works, but next time I’m near a bunch of men in bow ties, you can bet I’ll have a measuring tape with me.

Emerging Trends
Au said he saw a lot of cummerbunds being worn, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while.


There’s always a but-ton. The men were buttoning their single-breasted jackets. No, no, no. The WHOLE point of a cummerbund is to not button the jacket.

Tuxedo Rules
Clearly there needs to be a rulebook in the inside jacket pocket of every tuxedo. Because Today’s Man doesn’t know the rules.

Jonah Hill broke ’em, according to Au. Well, not broke so much as… you already fixed it, dude. Hill lost a lot of weight recently, Au and several red carpet commentators noted, so he didn’t need to wear the black-on-black look. And, his pants were too big, so it looked like a loaner.

A white shirt with a peak-lapel jacket would have worked better. Definitely not (another) cropped shawl-lapel jacket – these are for skinny guys, tall or short, Au insists. Maybe Hill was just copying his hero and Moneyball co-star, Brad Pitt.

Thumbs up in a tux
OK, so who looked good?

“George Clooney – very classic.” Big surprise.

“Jason Segal, the guy from The Muppets movie.” Really? Well, it was a sartorial extravaganza.

Christopher Plummer.” Oh good. “The jacket was perhaps a little bigger in the shoulder than he needed. He chose to be a little daring with the velvet.  It was age-appropriate.”

Thomas Langmann, The Artist producer.” Hmmm. To me he looked like a reincarnated/ modern-day Peter Lorre. But hey, Alan, look at him here, his shirt is untucked. Au says fitted shirts are a waning trend, so get them while you can. They stay tucked in much better and are more slimming.

Finally I ventured Tom Hanks. I loved the grey in his beard. A big thumbs-up from Au! Whew. Not only did he have a great bow tie, he wore a trend Au had been hoping to see a lot of but was sorely disappointed – the double-breasted tux. Tom Hanks already has two Oscars – now he’s won Best Tuxedo.

See original article at http://style.lifegoesstrong.com/article/fashion-police-men-s-oscar-style-epic-fail

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