Hall of Fame: Ryan Kwanten

While the men of Hollywood have definitely upped their game in recent red-carpet appearances, True Blood star Ryan Kwanten’s debonaire style has managed to set him apart as Most Valuable Player.  Rather than trying to reinvent the tuxedo as so many rookies feel obliged to do, this young Australian actor puts himself in the big leagues by embracing the unsurpassed elegance inherent in classic black tie.  But what elevates him to the level of sartorial all-star is his judicious use of tried-and-true variations to add a personal flair that’s both distinctive and elegant.  I have championed this philosophy repeatedly in the The Black Tie Guide but there’s nothing like seeing it executed in real life to seal the argument.

Dressed to celebrate his Man of the Year designation by Australian GQ. (2010)

Using a conservative waistcoat to balance a playful bow tie. (2011 Golden Globes)

Giving classic warm-weather black tie a natty twist with a velvet bow tie. (2011 Oscars)

This time around it’s the jacket that’s utilized to add understated flair. (2012 Golden Globes)

And for those of you who may argue that Kwanten would look stunning wrapped in a used garbage bag (he would), the outfit below demonstrates the impact of his sartorial choices nonetheless.  Whereas the preceding smart outfits emphasize his natural good looks the impact of the pedestrian suit shown here is impartial to them,  if not downright detrimental.

Proof positive that classic black tie doesn’t make you look old – it just makes you look good.


  1. Lady Isis

    I’ve been schooled here on the fundamentals of black tie… et certainment la raison d’etre, merci beaucoup! So, with all due respect, in the second full-body photo I call for a demerit. Wouldn’t you say the gentleman is missing a cummberbund and the photo shows exactly why it’s called for? Please advise.

    1. Peter Marshall

      Yes, he certainly deserves a demerit for this.

  2. Rob

    Several things don’t look right with the outfit in the first picture: a two-button jacket (only one button is ever really necessary), no waistcoat or cummerbund means his shirt is showing below the jacket button, the jacket sleeves look too long (little or no shirt sleeve is visible), the notch lapels are undistinguished and not generally considered a “classic” black tie style, and his bow tie is oversized, floppy and not black.

    I like his white tuxedo and wider outfit a lot though.


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