The Oscars. It came. It went. And I don’t give a crap. But what I do give a crap about is the subject of men’s formal wear, which I’ll be covering in the next 3 posts.
Today I’ll talk about my Oscar pick for Best Dressed Man: Daniel Day-Lewis.
Daniel Day-Lewis is hands down (and feet down, and ass down) the winner of the night for embodying an impeccable formal presentation in his midnight blue Domenico Vacca tuxedo. And how apropos of him to also receive the Academy’s grand honor for Best Actor in a Leading Role. By the way, he now holds the record for the most golden statuettes in the category. Congratulations.
It’s becoming clear that I have a ‘thing’ for two things: the midnight blue shawl-collar tux and leading actors named Daniel who wear them. (If you want to see me squirm over the other Daniel, check out: “Holiday Gear: Tux Deluxe.”)
Apart from the leading man midnight blue color that takes a subtle yet glamorous departure from the sea of nominee blacks, what makes Mr. Day-Lewis’s look so absofuckinglutely right?
Let’s go down the list....
Jacket: The shawl collar has always been my favorite for its classicism and elegance. Daniel’s slimmed down version is very in-the-moment, while complementing his elongated features. Everything about him is long and lean, from his face down to his feet. The linear quality of the slim shawl collar harmonizes well with his body type.
The black accent on the collar works well to add contrast and dimension to this strict streamlined look, as well as to pick up the black of the bow tie. This creates a clean, precise frame over the backdrop of the white shirt to neatly direct the focus to his face, which is a man’s most identifiable and expressive feature. And his is just... lovely.
The chest pocket is also cut with the same black fabric as the collar, a quiet way to showcase a novel design detail. In fact, I had to take a closer look to make sure it was the pocket welt and not a black pocket square. In effect, this clever feature does double duty as functional pocket opening and decorative pocket square, further streamlining the look.
The single button is not only the ideal style for a formal jacket, it also creates a low button stance that cuts a deep V onto his torso, complementing his long lines. Anyone who wishes to create the look of a longer, slimmer torso would do well with lower button stance jackets. Button stance is the term used for the position of the jacket’s top button.
Shirt: Perfect in its minimalism – a quiet plain front with a simple turndown collar. No extras like pleating or embellished studs. It’s just a pared down yet elegant canvas to highlight his face and upper body. Also note the cuffs peeking out – this detail is never an option when wearing a shirt and jacket, as the extra sliver of cuff keeps the shirt and jacket visually linked, creating balance. It looks like he has a good inch showing instead of the usual half inch, thereby doubling his confidence and flair.
Trousers: Tuxedo trousers traditionally have a ribbon running down the outer side of each leg, made from the same fabric as the jacket’s satin or grosgrain lapel. Daniel took a pass, instead opting again for a sleek, solid colored trim-cut trouser that accentuates his lean lines. The sharply-pressed creases at the center of the legs create an even more severe linearity that further accentuates his vertical stature. The high hem with a minimal break seamlessly connects to his shoes, creating a continues flow.
Shoes: Sleek slip-ons in patent/high-polish leather. With no extraneous laces or bulk, it blends in beautifully with his trousers.
Accessories: Nothing more than a simple black blow tie in perfect proportion to his face and collar, and one single statement jewelry – his wedding band. For a look this stunning, nothing more is needed – or wanted.
Lastly, I want to comment on one thing that Daniel Day-Lewis possesses that’s both the essential foundation and final touch to his refined appearance. And that is his character. This outrageously talented man embodies poise and finesse alongside a deeply genuine humility, making him a man of incredible integrity, decency and grace. I believe that a cultivated, attractive inner quality is the key to appearing cultivated and attractive to others. So after all that I’ve said on this post regarding the outer, I leave you now with the most important ingredient for your image and style – yourself. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
On my next post, I’ll talk about some more impressive stars who shined in their tuxes on Oscar night.