Best Dressed Men at the Oscars in 2019: Was it the Tom Ford show?

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No host at the Oscars this year? Did you notice? Probably not because all eyes were on a man you've never heard of in a Dressedo. (I'll take credit for that one). 

Rifling through all the stories, gossip and red carpet rumours in the morning papers today I wanted to throw out my thoughts on what I've seen.

Firstly we have this hell-mary. The actor is the ostentatious Billy Porter and the dressedo is by Christian Siriano. Billy also rocked up to the Baftas wearing custom couture by Randi Rahm Studio.

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James Bond 

Daniel Craig looked match-ready as he presented the best supporting actor alongside Charlize Theron . Presumably in Tom Ford although no announcement or accreditations on the Tom Ford Twitter account. 

Midnight blue peak lapel tuxedo. Single button, jetted pockets, notice the gauntlet cuff with the black grosgrain trim. Other standouts are the large boutineaair and rather large butterfly bow tie. 

The shirt has black studs and his shoes are noticeably high-shine black leather patina with a deep heel. 

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Also representing Tom Ford 

Joe Alwyn and Bradley Cooper also wore Tom Ford. Bradley rocked the O'Connor suit, styled by celebrity stylist Natalia Bruschi. Joe's lapels were massive (with a tiny bit of puckering suggesting it needed to be worn in a tad). 

Still he looked fabulous, with a ready shaped large bow tie and cummerbund. 

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Michael B. Jordan looked in prime form in his velvet TOM FORD Shelton cocktail jacket, cocktail pants, evening shirt and bow tie. His shirt similar if not identical to Daniel Craig's. 

Lastly look how beautiful Jennifer Lopez looked in a mirror mosaic Tom Ford dress, partnering Alex Rodriguez in his white Tom Ford dinner jacket. 

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Chris Evans 

As you know I have a thing for Velvet currently, my Chester Barrie velvet jacket is often my go-to for award ceremonies. It seems so long ago that I wrote about Chester Barrie overtaking the red carpet at the Oliver Awards

Chris Evans rocked up in a made-to-measure blue velvet collar tuxedo paired with a bow tie and classic patent lace-up shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

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The Best Dressed at the Golden Globes 2019

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It's amazing how just one selfie can be at the sole talking point of an awards ceremony. The internet went into melt down as Idris Elba saddled up to Daniel Craig and posted an image to his Twitter account with the caption, 'awks'. 

Thus, fuelling speculation once again about him being favourite to play the next James Bond. It seems to go largely unnoticed that Idris will be 50 by the time Bond 25 is likely to roll around at the earliest in 2022. But hey-ho. 

I wanted to shine a light on some of the tuxedos that dawned the red carpet for the 76th Golden Globe Awards. In no discernible order. 

Ben Whishaw 

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Winning Best supporting actor for his role in 'A Very English Scandal'. Looking the absolute nails in an Alexander McQueen tuxedo, with the typical McQueen hallmarks and embellishments. The crystals that make a bird and floral fabric are Swarovski and the fabric is a deluxe and subtle velvet. Great work Q. You can buy that for just under £3,000 from Mr Porter. 

Christian Bale 

Picking up best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and being the only award winner to hint at anything political during his acceptance speech, Golden Globe winner Christian Bale walked the red carpet with wife Sibi Blazic wearing a Brioni bespoke wool and silk tuxedo, black cotton shirt and black silk tie. 

Taron Egerton 

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Looking all grown up! Taron arrived at the Golden Globes Awards wearing charcoal grey wool evening tux with black velvet trim. Jetted pockets and a suppressed wait keep the lines clean for a very polished look. 

Richard Madden 

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You know him from The Bodyguard. Yes that one where Kevin Costner gets asked back for one last job because some damn fool said he was the best. Or wait was that in Predator. I get so confused with people getting called the best in movies. 

Richard won for best actor in a TV Drama, and with velvet being the theme again this year as he rocked an Armani velvet suit. 

Idris Elba 

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Ok so it was inevitable. For my money he wore the ballsiest number on the night, a 3 piece from Savile Row trailblazer Ozwald Boateng. Ostentatious, daring with a blue-black Aztecan kaleidoscopic shawl collar tuxedo with a button down shirt and narrow black silk tie. For sure the name, Elba. Idris Elba. Oh shut it Carl. 

Small Details, Big Differences | How to Look Great in Black Tie | Men's Style Advice

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With Christmas and New Year celebrations comes the black tie invitations. Corporate events or fancy friends, this is the time of year when you dust down your tuxedo. This should be seen as the opportunity to look your best and with an unlimited budget, there are some beautiful products available. If I had a spare £15k, I would invest in a diamond and pearl “dress set” from Deakin & Francis to accessorise my bespoke dress shirt. But there are a few more economical tips that can make you stand out for all the right reasons that will not break the bank.

  1. Wear a black tie. There is a clue in the title. This means a black bow tie and not a long tie. It must be a real bow tie that you tie yourself.

  2. Can’t tie a bow tie? Learn. It is a cool life skill. There are plenty of online tutorials.

3. Still can’t tie a bow tie! Purchase a real one one that can be unclipped at the back and ask the nice person in the shop to tie it for you. If they do not know, you are shopping in the wrong places.

4. Avoid most wing collar shirts. Opt for a turndown “normal” collar.

5. If your evening shirt was supplied with studs, do not wear them. They look cheap and cost pennies. You can buy better studs for not a lot of money that will improve your look.

6. Your studs should match your cufflinks. Perfectly.

7. Your wristwatch should complement your cufflinks. It should be slim with a black leather strap. James Bond can wear a sports watch with black tie. You can’t. If you do not have a suitable watch, do not wear one. You can find out the time from your mobile phone anyway.

8. You do not need to wear dress studs with your shirt. Some pedants even believe that it is incorrect to stud shirts for black tie.

9. Cummerbunds are great on the slim but are ugly on anyone with a belly. Be honest with yourself. Remember that a cummerbund should sit on the waist and is not a belt. You will need to wear your trousers high on the waist to allow the cummerbund to sit properly.

10. Wear braces. They will hold up your trousers at the correct height and keep everything in place.

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11. If you own a dinner suit, make sure it is well pressed and in good repair. It is worth having your evening shirt professionally laundered between wears so that it is always in pristine condition.

12. Make sure you show plenty of shirt cuff, a little more than you would normally.

13. Be wary of anything novelty and avoid fancy waistcoats. And avoid anyone wearing a fancy waistcoat at a black tie event!

14. You can wear a little colour with your pocket handkerchief. Dark reds and purples always look elegant. But a simple white cotton or linen simply folded is always correct.

15. Wearing a flower in your lapel is supremely elegant and a cost effective and correct way of standing out. It should be a simple white or red bloom and no one will ask if you are getting married.

16. Wear plain long socks and make sure your shoes are immaculately polished.

17. Pay special attention to your grooming. Ask your barber how you could style your hair differently for a formal event. The “slicked back” look is very elegant and conjures up images of the 1930s but is not achieved by over-applying cheap hair gel. Your facial hair and fingernails should be recently trimmed.

18. Do not wear a white silk scarf at the event. If you happen to have an evening scarf, check it in with your coat.

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Who Owned the Red Carpet at the Oliver Awards 2018?

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Sadly, I couldn't make this year’s Olivier Awards ceremony, which saw the best actors, theatre luminaries and fashion supremos alike grace it's red carpet. Ironically it clashed with the Olivier Giroud awards that was hosted around the corner, a sort Razzy to the Oscars if you will. 

Nevertheless, my news reel was submerged with updates from the red carpet. The erudite Grey Fox Blog looking suitably well-heeled in toe with the reptilian Nick Carvell. The impeccable maverick Joshua Kane and his counterpart Oliver Proudlock were also on hand to inject a kick of ritzy-glamour wearing of course, Joshua Kane. Oliver Proudlock (below-left) is wearing the brands 'Classic Collection' whilst expertly demonstrating the contrast in tailoring available at Joshua Kane Bespoke, Joshua Kane himself (below-right) is wearing a dinner jacket suit from the 'Fantasy Collection'.

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Chester Barrie is, for the seventh year in succession, the menswear sponsor of The Olivier Awards and the brand was worn by many of the nominees and presenters at yesterday’s ceremony. At the heart of the collection is the classic black Chester Barrie dinner suit, fashioned with peak lapels and jetted pockets.

Here's a quick rundown of the runners and riders. 

Adam J Bernard

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Adam from the Dreamgirls production currently playing at The Savoy theatre, is rocking the Chester Barrie velvet jacket which featured as part of Autumn Winter 17 which sadly isn't on sale anymore. Talk about rule of thumb though. Look at how the jacket lands perfectly between the knuckles of Adam's right hand thumb. Great length, nice exaggerated width on the shawl lapel, very ostentatious and why not. 

Joe Mcelderry

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Yes, Joe! That's how you rock a gauntlet cuff my friend. A slightly longer jacket length and a single button stance. Notice the colour pairing of Joe's brown eyes are almost identical to that brown/hickory colour of his jetted pocket trim, lapel, bow tie and cuff. 

Jamie Lambert

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A crisp delivery from singer/presenter Jamie Lambert. Jamie is insouciantly donning this double breasted Black Watch Tartan jacket fresh from this seasons black tie Chester Barrie catalogue. The contrast navy peak lapels bring out his baby blues, paired equably with his bowtie and knotted cufflinks. 

Jason Donavon

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He's matured like a fine Australian Shiraz. Jason Donavon in the shawl lapel dinner jacket from Chester Barrie above. Below is the peak lapel version sported by Michael Sheen. I normally like to go with the home team on this, but I think Jason has edged this one don't you think? 

Michael Sheen

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Do you have a favourite from the Chester Barrie Black Tie collection? Did you go to the Olivier awards? You do know I'm joking about the Olivier Giroud awards right? There's no such thing. (But there should be). Leave your thoughts in the comment box below. 

 

How to Wear a Tuxedo | Men's Style Advice as Featured in GQ

If you pick up a copy of the GQ China magazine (December 2017) and turn to the Men's Style Advice section, you'll find my face explaining what I wear for party season. Without duplicating content, I'm using my own platform to explain in a little more detail what I'm wearing, why and some style advice I would give to anyone wanting to look incredible in a tuxedo or as us Brits like to call dinner jackets. 

For the GQ China tuxedo style advice section, there was only one tuxedo that I wanted to wear and that was my 3-piece by Savile Row's Chester Barrie. The tailoring put into this tuxedo is the best in the world, it's crafted with the most skilled hands in the business and you can appreciate every stitch and every cut of the pattern as it aligns with your body shape. When looking for a tuxedo to wear for a special occasion, there are a few aspects that for me are a must. Firstly for the dinner jacket, peak bold lapels are an absolute must, they give an element of style, sophistication and screams that you know how to dress and you're not just following high-street trends of modern skinny lapels. The cuffs have to be working cuffs and the buttons should be discrete yet in a design that matches the suits style perfectly. 

Moving on to the waistcoat. Firstly make sure it fits well and is not too tight. If it is too tight it will look terrible when sitting down, it will rumple up the shirt underneath and will ultimately make the outfit as a whole look disheveled. The buttons on the waistcoat must match the buttons on your dinner jacket. The cut of the waistcoat should be low cut, this is to champion the shirt underneath and make the bow-tie prominent. If the waistcoat is cut too high there will be no colour transition between the dark suit fabric and the bow-tie. As with this Chester Barrie tuxedo, I love the contrast between the single-breasted blazer and the double-breasted waistcoat as well as the peak cut lapels of the blazer and the elongated curves of the waistcoat lapels. 

Kind of obvious but the trouser fabric should match that of the dinner jacket blazer and waistcoat. The trousers should be cut slim but not too skinny and certainly not baggy. Turn-up trousers are welcomed so long as they are tailored at the correct length and the trousers are tapered perfectly - if you need any advice on this, either comment below and I'll get back to you or speak to your local tailor. Leave the belt at home and opt for a pair of trousers with side adjusters. 

The shirt is an important part to the perfect tuxedo style. It has to be a crisp white shirt and in my personal opinion have a classic downwards collar. Button-down shirts should not be used, wing-tip shirts can look cheap, like you've just been to a hire shop and give an adolescent appearance. If you want a shirt fabric that is breathable then opt for a lightweight poplin weave in a 2/100s yarn count, if you want more warmth then an Oxford or herringbone weave would be a better option. Many tuxedo shirts are tailored with a fabric called 'Marcella' which has a textured appearance and often used specifically in the bib area of dress shirts. Another option is the wear a pleated shirt. If you are wearing one of these shirts, you'll want to show that in your look and therefore another reason why you should wear a low-cut waistcoat otherwise you'll just cover up the shirt details. For the buttons, I prefer classic, bone coloured mother-of-pearl to leave the chest area clean from too much clutter. A lot of people like to wear black satin covered buttons, although my personal opinion is that they look like a airport landing strip. The cuffs can be either double French cuffs and single cuffs, depending on preference and if you would like to wear cuff-links. My personal preference here is single cuffs, as I think they fit the wrist better and showcase your watch. Sometimes a double French cuff can be tailored too large and therefore covering your watch and unless you spend good money on a decent pair of cuff-links they can look like you've just won them in a Christmas cracker.

Always self tie your bow-tie, no clip-ons and if you don't know how to tie a bow-tie then practice and practice some more because it looks better and you'll get the admiration of your fellow party guests and work colleges. If you would like a YouTube tutorial on how to tie a bow-tie you can watch mine here. After you have mastered it you can play around with the shape of the bow and the knot. Try to make the knot as small as possible and the bow large in a butterfly style. As for the colour to wear, I prefer a classic black bow-tie but feel free to add your own personality here and go for some bold patterns or colours if you wish.  Do not match the bow-tie fabric/colour with your pocket square.

Shoes should be black and preferably patent shoes which is a coated leather that gives a glossy, shiny finish. If you decide to wear a pocket square, avoid matching it with the same colour as your bow-tie as it looks tacky, instead why not wear a plain white pocket square or no pocket square at all. If you have gone for an outrageous bow-tie colour and pattern, I would suggest not wearing a pocket square. 

Accessorise with a black leather strapped watch, scarf, overcoat and if you live in the UK then of course a large, durable umbrella. 

Lastly when starting my blog in 2013 it would have been an absolute dream to have been featured in GQ so this is an incredibly proud moment for me. It's an amazing way to sign off 2017 which has been a successful year but most importantly enjoyable. 

 

SHOP MY LOOK

Photo Credit - Andrew Barber - OmniStyle

Accessorise Your Tuxedo With Geoff Stocker | The Sartorial Essentials

With party season upon us, you probably have your works Christmas party coming up which most likely is going to be a black tie dress code. If everyone wears a black dinner jacket, white shirt, black bow-tie and black patent shoes it can seem quite sartorially boring, which is where the pocket square comes in. Accessorising your tuxedo with a splash of colour is the easiest way to add your personality to your outfit in an eye catching way. Geoff Stocker specialises in these sartorial essentials with a vast collection of 100% silk pocket squares and scarfs. 

Geoff Stocker, the menswear accessories designer is known for his eclectic and elegant designs, he showcases a twelve piece collection of meticulously measured, 100% satin silk pocket squares. Geoff celebrates British craftsmanship by manufacturing all designs in England and I have to say that the quality of the silk in these accessories is incredible. Silky and soft in a 30cm x 30cm size, it's easy to fold your pocket square in any designs that you love.

I've chosen 3 Geoff Stocker pocket squares and 1 scarf from their collection to show you visually how amazing your tuxedo can look with a touch of bold colours and patterns. The first pocket square (above) is The Jester in blue with a cream hand-rolled hem. Perfect for men who want to make a subtle statement to their outfit.

Last year at my works Christmas Party, I arrived in a silk scarf and recall a host of compliments from my work colleges. This one is perfectly made to wear with your dinner jacket, in a shortened 132cm by 17cm design which can also double-up to wear 'cravat style' inside a shirt. These 100% lightweight silk twill scarfs have a digitally printed pattern on one side and plain coloured on the reverse.

Next up are my favourite two pocket squares, they are bolder, they are brighter for someone who wants to stand out from the crowd and look his dapper best. The design above is The Avebury in a red palette, which stands out incredibly against a black or navy dinner jacket suit. The design below is The Rajah and the one I'm wearing is the copper green design. 

What is your favourite look out of the four that I've styled?

SHOP THE COLLECTION

How to Accessorise Your Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo this Party Season

Party season is a couple of months during Winter where the majority of us have our staff Christmas parties and a fair proportion of these parties normally operate a 'black tie' dress code. Hence why brands bring out entire ranges suitable for 'Party Season' so you know how to look your best at your works staff party. I've already discussed what suits you should where for party season by styling a black tuxedo and navy tuxedo, which you can re-read here.

This post is all about how to accessorise your dinner jacket or tuxedo from socks, shoes, pocket squares, shirts, ties and scarfs. These are the small differences, that will make you transform from looking like every other person in the room into youself, your own personality and your own style.

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The Shirt

Starting from the top down so therefore lets discuss the shirt first. The only two colours you can use when wearing a dinner jacket is either white or black and personally I would always opt for a brand new crisp white shirt, straight out of it's packaging. Choosing a collar type is a little more tricky as there are more choices. When I was 18 or early 20's I thought that you had to wear 'wing-tip' collar shirts with a dinner jacket and how wrong was I. For me the wing tip collar is my least favourite, it doesn't particularly look great and just reminds my of poorly designed shirts from hire shops. 

Instead opt for a more refined elegance in your shirt collar. A simple classic spread collar or even a collar with a narrower opening will look great underneath a bow-tie. Check your dress-code but if you are after something different and from a 1920's era of exceptional dress sense then try the pin collar or the tab collar shirts which although are not designed for bow-ties, work incredible with a black silk tie and offer a different option for those who do not like wearing bow-ties.

There is only one place I would recommend getting your party season shirts from and that is of course Hawkins & Shepherd, the London shirt makers who are famed for bringing back the pin collar shirt styles. You can shop their extensive party season collection online here and below are some of my top picks.

The Tie

Naturally choosing a tie should come next, you have two options which is simply to wear a bow-tie or a tie. That decision totally depends on 1. The dress code .2. Your own personal style taste and .3. Which shirt you have chosen to wear. 

The next choice is colour and if you choose a bow-tie, what style do you choose such as a standard bow-tie or butterfly bow-tie for example. When choosing a colour of the bow-tie I would go for dark deep colours, nothing too colourful and certainly no colourful patterns unless they are subtle (such as polka-dot), you don't want to look like a clown and always think 'what would Tom Ford wear'! Here are my top picks:

The Pocket Square

Who would have thought that a square piece of silk, cotton or linen would be such a sartorial success. Personally I wouldn't match the exact colour of your tie with your pocket square, as that is just lazy and shows no creativity at all, plus it reminds me of weddings. Party season style is not wedding style, it's more refined, classic, classy and elegant. Here are my top picks:

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The Scarf

The scarf I'm wearing is from new luxury brand Fisher & Woordes who are one of my menswear finds of the year. They currently have a collection of 3 scarfs which are warm, classic and beautiful and perfect to style with your dinner jacket suit. The brand also crafts belts as in the ones below.

The Socks

Socks are often the most underrated statement of fashion similar to underpants for men as most of the time, they are not seen...so why bother right? Well that may be true depending on the length of the cut of your trousers. If you are looking to suave up your sock game then here are some good choices.

The Shoes

My personal preference for choosing the right shoes when wearing a tuxedo is to opt for a pair of patent shoes. Patent leather is a type of coated leather that has a very glossy shine to the finish. Although there are always other options and here are my top picks in the footwear department.

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What to wear this Party Season | Black Tuxedo vs Navy Tuxedo

With the AW17 party season looming it's time to start thinking about what you are going to wear. Never has there been so much choice as there is today when it comes to tuxedo suits or dinner jackets and I've styled two of the most popular colour choices, black and navy for your inspiration. A black dinner jacket is the most classic of all styles whereas navy versions are making a comeback whilst gaining in popularity for those fashion conscious individuals who want to buck trends and look marginally different to the masses.

When asked to dress as 'Black Tie' it is worth double checking the exact dress code because 'Black Tie' could be just a generic term to wear dinner jackets regardless of the colour. White tuxedos are also quite popular, although you'll either have to be uber cool or the office joker to get away with such a bold statement suit - as I'm neither of those, I can't wear one!

That leaves me with either black or navy and if you want to look your dashing best, here are a couple of styles that tick all sartorial boxes. 

When wearing a black dinner jacket, the key is to respect the history around such a classic, tailoring masterpiece. With that in mind, stick to a timeless cutaway white shirt rather than wingtip collars, as it's much more sophisticated and stylish. When I generalise wingtip collars, I think about my 18 year old self and badly dressed Christmas parties. A black bow-tie is essential. If you are an expert in tying a bow-tie, try to make the knot small which will give you more fabric to create a butterfly style bow-tie. Black shoes complete the look. If you have the budget to buy a new pair of shoes to wear with your tuxedo, I would recommend buying patent shoes, it's a perfect match. Finally if you have over-indulged in the lead up to party season, or if your suit is a little tight, match the dinner jacket with a well fitted waistcoat and you can then leave the jacket undone and no one with notice it's slightly too small!

 

SHOP MY BLACK DINNER JACKET STYLE

I'm a massive fan of navy tuxedos, it's a slightly more modern style, so therefore you have a certain level of freedom to wear this slightly differently without repercussion and I have tried to accentuate this in my styled look above. Of course a navy dinner jacket or tuxedo would work extremely well styled the same as my first style, with a black or navy bow-tie and waistcoat. However in this look I wanted to showcase a completely different approach fixated around the pin collar shirt. The pin collar shirt is a 1920's classic, it is super smart, it's designed to protrude and champion the tie. 

Often when at your work Christmas party or winter party season event, there are two distinct timings to the evening. 1) The arrival or the dinner, where you keep your tie on and look pristine. Then 2) The wind-down which could be a DJ set, where you'll be welcomed to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. With this in mind, this outfit works extremely well. The pin collar bar, tie and scarf are all accessories that you'll wear to wow your audience on arrival, whereas later on in the evening you can remove the pin bar, remove the tie, undo a couple of buttons and you're ready to party the evening away. Navy tassel loafers with no socks is not everyones cup of tea, so I'll suggest alternatives such as dark brown or black Oxford shoes (*with socks!).

 

SHOP MY NAVY DINNER JACKET STYLE

Photography by Toni Tran with all photos taken at The Franklin Hotel, Knightsbridge.