Hollywood’s leading men have been enjoying equal billing with the ladies in the sex-symbol department since Steve McQueen, but red carpet status? This year, as the Emmys trot out many of the same fashionable ladies as last year -- and the year before that -- the new sport is bloke-watching. Look for six men to shine on the carpet, including three who'll bring a dose of Oscar elegance to the TV awards. "It was only a matter of time," says stylist Ilaria Urbinati (who styles Bradley Cooper and Chris Evans). "Actors start out green, then go out dressed [well] and see the different way people respond. Then they're sold."
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, a first-time Emmy nominee for True Detective, gives good speech but also gives cool dinner jacket (note his white, gold and green ones for the Dallas Buyers Club campaign). "Matthew's very masculine, has great shoulders and complete confidence," says his stylist, Simon Robins. "He makes color look more manly." And he always seems to win, so his looks get air time.
Despite having a face that's "between an otter and something people find vaguely attractive," as he's described it, Sherlock nominee Benedict Cumberbatch has the tall physique and proper British posture that reads "polished classic star," whether he's rocking a simple Ralph Lauren tux or a white bow tie to the Met Ball.
Luther nominee Idris Elba's look always has a hint of sexy, and between his smile and sense of surprise, it's not hard to figure out why. The British actor wears Gucci almost exclusively but mixes it up: sometimes no tie. Glasses, then none. Gucci off the rack, then made to order. Inquiring minds want to see what's next.
From left: Matt Bomer, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey
Azure-eyed Matt Bomer, nominee for The Normal Heart, rocks colors, such as red or, especially, flattering blues. Since his partner, Simon Halls, is the publicist for Tom Ford, it's a good bet the designer whipped up something special for a guy who makes dressy clothes look casual and casual clothes look dressy.
Mark Ruffalo, a first-time Emmy nominee for The Normal Heart (and Oscar nominee for The Kids Are All Right in 2011), actually knows his brands, preferring Prada and John Varvatos looks that are masculine and have a touch of texture but are also a little bit funky. How did he get so fashion-forward? He often attends fashion shows with his stylish wife, Sunrise Coigney, who we suspect helps him pick his clothes.
Whether clean-shaven or bearded and mysterious, Chiwetel Ejiofor has admitted it takes him longer to get ready than his wife! The Dancing on the Edge Emmy nominee and 12 Years a Slave Oscar nominee likes to change it up, too -- deep blue tux at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, white dinner jacket at another event. "Men are taking more chances now," says George Kotsiopoulos of E!'s Fashion Police. "Why should the girls and gays be the only ones having any fun?"
This story first appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.