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The Future of Men’s Fashion is Velvet and the Proof Was at the Oscars

'Green Book' won best picture, but velvet of all colors won the red carpet.


Every man who appears on the red carpet at the Oscars has two choices: a black tuxedo or something else. And while it’s hard to go wrong with a classic, well-fitting, black tux, it’s also hard to make a memorable fashion statement wearing the same outfit that James Stewart wore when he won Best Actor for The Philadelphia Story. For that reason, there’s been a gradual diversification of what men at the Oscars have worn. For this year’s ceremony, plenty of men chose to make bold sartorial statements with velvet tuxedos.

Velvet is a soft material with some sheen to it, opulent yet understated and luxurious without being garish. That makes it a fantastic material for the Oscars, an event where women have long worn haute couture and sparkly yet tasteful jewelry. This year, everyone from blockbuster superstars to character actors wore velvet on the red carpet in three- and two-piece styles, an array of different colors and cuts. The one thing they all had in common? They looked damn good. Check out the photos and judge for yourself.

Michael B. Jordan


His Tom Ford blue velvet tux looked great on the Black Panther star, and the glittery lapel pin really tied the whole outfit together.

Stephan James


The If Beale Street Could Talk star said a lot with this three-piece red velvet number from Etro, complete with a slightly oversized bow tie and Swarovski pin.

Billy Porter


This is the outfit people are going to remember long after the brouhaha over Green Book has died down. It’s technically a gown, yards and yards of flowing black velvet, topped with a tuxedo jacket and overflowing white cuffs. Christian Sirano was the brilliant designer behind the look, which had a lot to say.

David Oyelowo


Another Etro creation adorned David Oyelowo, this one a dark green tux with a deep vest and black lapels linked by a silver chain.

Brian Tyree Henry


The If Beale Street Could Talk star wore a deliberately deranged, The Favourite-inspired outfit to present the Oscar for costume design, so it makes sense that he’d opt for a more subdued but undeniably fly black-on-black-on-back look from Giorgio Armani.

Chris Evans


The Captain America star won the hearts of grandmothers everywhere when he helped Regina King get up the stairs to collect her Best Actress award, but he’d already done well on the night with a velvet Salvatore Ferragamo jacket whose color was a dashing shade of blue.

Jason Mamoa


The Hawaii-born actor took advantage of a rare, non-shirtless TV appearance with this muted pink Fendi tuxedo with black lapels and stripe down the pants. He gets bonus points for perfectly matching the gown worn by his wife, Lisa Bonet.

Richard. E. Grant


The second-best thing supporting actor nominee Richard E. Grant did was wear this plush burgundy tux with grey lapels designed by Brunello Cucinelli. The best thing he did was bring his daughter Olivia as his date.

Henry Golding


Golding looked crazy good in this Ralph Lauren Purple Label tux that stuck to a traditional black and white palette but mixed things up with a white tie, black studs, and, of course, impeccable velvet construction.