5 Tuxedo Tips for Red Carpet Newbies

11:00 AM 1/3/2020

by Vincent Boucher

A-list stylists and fashion experts share advice, from getting the best fit to knowing how to pose.

Dean-Charles Chapman - Getty - H 2019
Mike Marsland/WireImage

  • Know Your Limits

    Stay classic like Succession's Nicholas Braun and 1917's Dean-Charles Chapman. "Avoid a trendy colored tuxedo if it's your first time out of the gate," advises stylist Michael Fisher, who dresses Braun, Sam Rockwell, Adam Driver and Paul Rudd. "Then add a personal touch, like heirloom cuff links or a conversational sock." Fashion critic George Kotsiopoulos agrees, “If you don’t look like Timothée Chalamet, you might look ridiculous — and that's not what you want to project as your first impression.”

  • Confidence Wins Every Time

    "If you have any doubt, put it back on the rack," says executive style consultant Andrew Weitz. "I try things on clients and I can tell in a minute if they're not comfortable. You have to wear things with confidence." Stylist Mark Holmes, who’s dressing Bill Hader and Brett Gelman, concurs. “You don't always have to be the loudest guy in the room,” he says. “Don't force it.”

  • Tailored to a T

    "Don't worry about what designer you're wearing, just make sure the tailoring is perfect," says Holmes. Adds stylist Jeanne Yang (whose clients include Jason Momoa, Christian Bale and Taika Waititi), "Try on your look at least twice. There's nothing worse than something not fitting or tearing. Check every button. Don't show too much shirt cuff, about an inch is good. And the jacket sleeve should hit just below where the wrist ends. Wearing a suit that is too big and falls off the shoulder, circa 1990, just makes you look bigger and shorter and slouchier.” And if you have a tux from a few years back, says Kotsiopoulos, "Have a tailor tweak it a bit." And, advises Jeff Goldblum’s stylist Andrew T. Vottero “The most cringe-worthy men’s fashion moves are suits that are too big, pants that are too baggy and too long. I’m always shocked by how many guys either don’t know or don’t care enough to get pants hemmed.”

  • Tread Carefully

    One of Fisher's pet peeves is "big bows on shoelaces. I always tuck laces in for a cleaner look," says the stylist, who also dislikes brown shoes on a red carpet. Adds Kotsiopoulos, "I cringe when guys wear rubber-soled dress shoes to a black-tie event."

  • Strike the Right Pose

    "I always recommend keeping your arms and shoulders low, because if you don't, the collar of your jacket widens." says stylist Philippe Uter (Stranger Things' Noah Schnapp). Kotsiopoulos agrees. “It's more flattering when a jacket is buttoned, but don't stick both of your arms around people or the jacket will look like it's bursting open. Put an arm around one and just touch the shoulder of the one on the other side.” And, he cautions, don't button a jacket's bottom button: "That's so uncouth."

    A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.