04 March 2014 by

The Tux-volution: How to Wear the Red Carpet Tuxedo

Wearing a tuxedo on the red carpet is hardly a new concept. Indeed there many of our favourite style mavens have made the look their evening event signature. However, as we’ve taken time to analyse the endless lineup of Oscar’s nominees and hangers on clad in their gladrags, we have noted a seas=change. Now a tuxedo isn’t just an option for a slightly left-field starlet wanting to carve herself a fashion-friendly rep. Instead you could say the tux has become mainstream.

Ellen Page, Kourtney Kardashian & Ellen de Generes wear Saint Laurent at the Oscars ceremony and parties

One designer is more responsible for this sea-change than any other and that’s Hedi Slimane. Saint Laurent’s Creative Director, Slimane’s background in menswear (most notably at Dior Homme) and aptitude for skinny, skinny tailoring has redrawn the map of what is considered both cool and appropriate on the red carpet.

The rollcall of Saint Laurent-supporters was impressive. From host Ellen de Generes  (who wore three SL suits) to Ellen Page to Kourtney Kardashian to Jared Leto (so pretty he gives us girls red carpet inspo), Hedi’s tailoring was in high demand. And the look also had several other enthusiasts with Brooklyn Decker wearing a cream Calvin Klein tux, Helen Lasichanh matching her music maker hubby Pharrell in another cream jacket and trousers.

Jared Leto in Saint Laurent and Pharell and his wife Helen matching their style at 2014's Oscars; Angelina works tuxedo chic at the Baftas

And its not just the Oscars – at the Baftas Angelina and Brad stunned in a pair of tuxedos and girls like Cara Delevingne, Alexa Chung and serial tuxedo-er Kate Moss have been proving its appeal of late.

Jennifer Lawrence works a fitted tuxedo by Dior to showcase her curves, Cara Delevingne goes for colour at London Fashion Week, Anne Hathaway works Saint Laurent tailoring on the red carpet

The question is, if you’re more used to working a cocktail dress and feminine sartorial codes, how do you make the tux work for you? The bigger your bust the harder to nail that ‘I just threw on my boyfriend’s jacket’ look as you have to go for something that defines the waist or else you’ll look both boxy and corporate.

If you want to add a feminine touch, a silk blouse and fine gold chains bring a softness to the mannish look and of course a Saint Laurent girl always has an option to rock a pair of spike stilettos – very useful for creating Slimane’s long legged silhouette. If conversely you’d prefer to properly masculine with your tailoring, choose a jacket with emphasized shoulders and go for gentleman’s accessories – like Ellen’s tie and silk handkerchief.  

Jacket £345 from The Kooples, Pocket Square £85 by Saint Laurent (Men's), Silk Shirt £250 by Helmut Lang, Shoes £495 by Gianvito Rossi, Earrings £135 by Arme de l'Amour Trousers £185 from The Kooples, Tie £340 by Saint Laurent

And should the Saint Laurent price tag be out of your budget, check out The Kooples for a French cut (skinny) tux and Maison Martin Margiela MM6 and Helmut Land for a more purse friendly designer option. Just remember to invest as much as you possibly can in tailoring as a cheap jacket will never cut it.


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