No one is viewing slideshows of red carpet looks to see what the men have on. The dudes are notorious for wearing black-and-white penguin suits, boring formal archetypes that someone must be telling them that they have to wear. These suits are always ill fitting monstrosities and styled to look like Men’s Warehouse catalogue models. The most interesting debates about red carpet men are whether a suit is actually black or deep navy or how weird that one guy trying to be anti-establishment was.
If there is one man who sees and hears how boring men have been, it’s David Oyelowo. The actor is always shifting his look and is never not looking beyond dapper. He’s a red carpet star that is definitely getting noticed but—personally—doesn’t seem to be getting his sartorial due. He is arguably the best dressed man walking red carpets right now.
For example: his look from the Emmys last night. It’s excellent. It’s a classic double breasted suit nearly bedazzled with a silver threaded patterned fabric. The fit of his suit is razor sharp. The best part is how he accessorizes: a thin silver lapel pin, a deep velvet (I believe?) bowtie, and very interesting, laceless patent leather shoes. He makes red carpet style for men look both classic and new. He’s clearly having fun and clearly has a sense of style that can do anything.
Last night is no exception either: he always looks good. Examples.
At the Golden Globes, he wore a glittery navy suit and sparkly shoes. The interplay between black and blue is incredibly elegant and Oyelowo does not disappoint. It’s hard for a guy to pull of something with glitter without looking terribly gauche but, thanks to a great fit and classic form, it works. Editing, people.
For the Academy Awards—arguably his stylistic breakout moment—he wore red. Blood red. Bright red. Satin red. He had it all! An entirely hot red suit would have easily killed the eyes but this suit is instead a calm and cool evolution of the carpet itself. With a crisp white shirt and patent leather shoes, he’s nailed a suit that is hard to forget and easy to love. It’s fun and it’s serious. The complimentary creamy red carpet backdrop helps a lot, too. Had his undershirt been cream as well, it would have been overkill. The cleanness of the shirt offers a reprieve from the yellowy not-white behind him.
For the premiere of Selma, he wore a cool gray suit. Admittedly, this isn’t my favorite look of his. It is a lesson on wearing gray, though: there is a lightness to it, like a blue khaki. The sky blue tie is the only thing in need of an edit but even that is likable. Sky blue is simply a gamble and he kind of lost with it here.
At his most fun for the Critics Choice Awards, he wore a suit that had the word from one of Martin Luther King’s favorite gospel penned inside of it. This is obviously not straightforward “fun” but is a statement of care, compassion, and creativity with what he wears. In an alternate universe, someone would have worn the words on the outside of the suit and it would have been painful. On the inside? It’s a discrete treat. The opting out of a tie and belt help draw the attention to the coat, too. It’s a well fitting tribute.
A personal favorite (and another example of sparkly wears) was his outfit at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He wore a deep gold suit with a black-on-black shirt and tie combination. It all works. He looks like an award himself. He’s mastered the ability to look both serious and fun, the art of being formal while having a sense of humor. And shoutout to his wife Jessica Oyelowo for rising to the occasion, too. You know their red carpet looks are coordinated efforts.
If you are looking for a stylish man to emulate, it’s David Oyelowo. He doesn’t disappoint and—as you can see from this lineup—he’s always taking risks. He tries new things. He has fun but he stays within the confines of classic tailored suits, which eliminates the risk of him looking clowny or jokey. He looks serious. He looks good. He’s the best dressed man in Hollywood right now.