2012 GQ Men of the Year Awards Red Carpet


The GQ Men of the Year Awards were held September 4 at the Royal Opera House in London with an impressive array of black-tie finery. The relative conservatism of recent red-carpet fashion was very much present along with the continuing dominance of the turndown collar.  Sadly absent across the sartorial spectrum was the exposed shirt cuff; Savile Row must have been shaking its collective head that evening.

The Good

The benchmark for the evening was set by a number of men who epitomized the rules of traditional black tie and reaped the impossibly elegant rewards.

Irish television and radio presenter Dermot O’Leary proudly displays his classically styled waistcoat. (PA Photos)

Stella McCartney’s husband Alasdhair Willis is another man who knows the value of a proper waist covering. (Getty Images)

Welsh actor and comedian Rob Brydon in midnight blue. (Getty Images)

Winner of “International Man of the Year”, debonair “Mad Men” star John Slattery. (Landmark / PR PHotos)

A black-tie fashion gala is the perfect opportunity to take some artistic licence with the dress code.  This year the dinner jacket was the canvas of choice for tasteful variation.

English comedians David Walliams and Jimmy Carr looking sauve in velvet. (PA Photos)

English rapper Tinie Tempah in patterned dinner jacket and matching shoes from Tom Ford’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection. (PA Photos)

Legendary Welsh crooner Sir Tom Jones in Black Watch plaid. (Rex Features)

British property tycoon Nick Candy (Rex Features)

David Furnish (Getty Images)

The Not-So-Great

Going tie-less to a Black Tie event may seem cool in isolation . . .

English footballer Ashley Cole (left) and former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating (right). ( (Rex Features)

. . . but clearly falls flat up against the sophistication of a properly dressed neck.

With Messrs. DFolce and Gabanna (left) and Jimmy Carr (right). (Rex Features, Getty Images)

And of course there’s always the four-in-hand contingent that turns out to remind us all of just how pedestrian this style can look.

Actor Chris Hemsworth doing everything he can to negate his inherent good looks. (PA Photos)

Former Take That front man, Gary Barlow (Rex Features)

Lessons Learned

Examples of how seemingly minor infractions can have major repercussions.

British paralympian Jody Cundy reveals the need for a proper fit. (Getty Images)

Actor Daminan Lewis demonstrates how to ruin an otherwise perfect outfit by playing navel peek-a-boo. (Getty)

British businessman Sir Philip Green shows the value of “less is more” when it comes to formal trimmings while “Entrepreneur of the Year” Nick Jones reminds us that why the 3-button suit died with the 1990s. (Getty)


  1. CAGuy

    Agree with pretty much all of your critique. In addition, Daminan Lewis’ tie looks a bit too big.

  2. Adam Williamson

    “while “Entrepreneur of the Year” Nick Jones reminds us that why the 3-button suit died with the 1990s.”

    hardly, I still see them all the time. Actually, saw four of ’em next to each other just today – on one of the NBC football commentating groups. Very tall people look ridiculous in a 2-button suit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with three buttons, for a suit. It’s ridiculous for evening wear, though.

  3. jovantheun1337

    Depends on how it is cut. A two button can look good on anyone if the button height and spacing is done correctly.

    I notice that Ronan Keating isn’t even wearing a dinner suit.

  4. CAGuy

    Yes, a two-button style can look good on anyone. But NOT on a single-breasted tuxedo. Dinner jackets should be one button, end of story. They’re not meant to be a black version of a suit jacket.

    1. jovantheun1337

      Please re-read. Where did I say it was acceptable on a dinner jacket?

      1. CAGuy

        Adam Williamson said, “It’s ridiculous for evening wear, though.” Your response was, “Depends on how it is cut. A two button can look good on anyone if the button height and spacing is done correctly.”

        Based on those comments being back to back, I made the reasonable inference that you were saying that two buttons could look fine on a black tie outfit.

        1. jovantheun1337

          Sorry if I was unclear. It was meant in response to his comments about tall people. Single button is a rule that no one should break on dinner jackets, regardless of vents, pocket flaps or notch lapels. There’s only so much you can break before you completely destroy the point of black tie.

          Take Sean Connery’s James Bond, for example. Double vents, mother of pearl buttons rather than studs, no waist covering, yet everything else followed the rules and there was the refined addition of the satin turnback cuffs on the jacket. (Well, that and he was a man of action who could be called upon to draw his PPK or change out of his evening clothes on a moment’s notice.) Even when he wore notch lapels it was still a single button jacket.

          1. CAGuy

            Thanks very much. Glad we cleared things up. (Now don’t get me started on people who wear cuffs on their tuxedo pants :-).)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *