TGIF: Gentlemanly Looks, Men in Tuxes

Happy A Gentleman day!!!!  Such an odd title for the film.  Not quite sure what it is intended to evoke for the audience.  But I will focus on one small part of it, that very Western style of gentleman, the man in the tuxedo.  And since they are all wearing essentially the same thing this week, we get to have a little “who wore it best” poll in the comments!

 

Okay, Joyomama can correct me, but my understanding of the history of the tux is that the idea is not a dressy suit, but a less dressy top hat and tails look.  The full formal “morning suit” that was common for weddings and evening events from about 1850 to 1920 involved a waistcoat, a bow tie, and a jacket with tails.  And there were all these like construction reasons behind it, you were wearing a false shirt for one thing.  A collar and a shirt front that were super starched and could be changed out for newly starched ones for the next event, and then the bow tie and waistcoat sort of held them in place.  And the tails look was left over from riding your horse, you would have a long split coat for riding, which got modified for evening formal wear into something a little smaller but still in the same style.

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(This.  It was this)

And then in the 1920s, at the “Tuxedo” club in New York, people had the brilliant idea of taking that whole formal look, but dumping the long split coat (“tails”) because it made no sense in the new car era.  Which gets into a whole other thing about how early cars were the equivalent of horses and only owned by dashing young men and so on and so on.  The point is, the Tuxedo was born!  The old morning suit style but with a regular suit coat.  And, over time, other modifications came in.  Shirt technology advanced and the whole interchangeable false front idea was no longer needed, and substituted for it was the optional extra layers on the front of the shirt, the ruffled effect.  The waistcoat was modified down to a cummerbund.  But the bow tie stayed, and the studs rather than buttons, and the general sense of “this is the dressiest thing you can possibly wear”.  Thus, A Gentleman!

Well, unless you are John Abraham, in which case you really think outside the box as to what constitutes “clothing”. Not sure if this says so much “a gentleman” as “a prostitute”.

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Okay, discounting John for using his sexuality to influence the judges, and Amitabh for being beyond our petty competitions, out of all the following photos, how would you rank them?

 

Shahid gets it, he knows it’s all about attitude and how you take the classic style and make it your own.

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Although he also branched out a bit.  Look!  Double-breasted!  The rebel!

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Not everyone can wear them as well though.  Is it just me or does the bow tie make Akshay Kumar‘s head look oddly tiny?

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See?  So much better with a long tie!

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Here, let’s compare.  Abhishek looks like even more manly than usual in his tux, taller and bigger and dignified-er.  But poor Akshay just looks kind of like a little Akshay doll.

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Wow, you know Abhishek looks darn good in a tux!  Must be something in the genes.

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Or maybe early training?

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Of course, Aish as an accessory dresses up any outfit.

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Maybe having Aish on his arm could have helped poor Arjun Rampal here.

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Or maybe not.  The whole white bow tie/pointless scarves/white accents on the cummerbund may not be salvageable.  Even by a man as beautiful as Arjun.  And judging by his expression, he knows this.

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Or maybe it’s that he isn’t a good enough actor to act confident in a tux.  Check out our rising star actor’s actor Nawazuddin!  Working it like there’s no tomorrow!

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Although he’s got nothing on Irrfan!  Hel-LO Irrfan!  Loving the look!

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He must know it works on him too, because he keeps wearing it!

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Even for the fancy lighting photo shoots, still sticking with the tux!  And I am not complaining.

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And from two of the best actors in India, let us go to one of the…..  Well he’s a very handsome man.  Let’s go to a very handsome man in a tux.  And you know, I don’t think he is pulling it off as well as the good actors did?  Not enough personality there.  HRITHIK!!!  Wake-up and smile!

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See?  John knows how to do it!  Okay, he still doesn’t know how to wear clothes, the bow tie and cummerband seem to have been left in the car, but look how happy he is to see us!

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You know who I wouldn’t have thought would be comfortable in a tux?  For similar “clothes fall off his body” reasons?  Salman!  And yet, he looks GREAT.

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Okay, he also rejected the cummerbund, but otherwise the whole thing is still on him.

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At least, temporarily.  Although the friendly bearded giant in the rumpled clothing look is definitely working.

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If only Salman had managed to teach his protegees how to do it.  Arjun just doesn’t look super happy here.  Also, is that blue?  No, Arjun.  Just, no.

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Varun looks a little better, but then red?  Much much worse than blue in my book.

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Oh yeah Varun, that’s the stuff.  Let the clothes do the work for you, not you for the clothes.

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This is something Ranveer needs to be reminded of ALWAYS.  He is the jewel, not what he is wearing.  I wish he would dress like this more often, basic and traditional.

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Speaking of basic and traditional, can’t you just picture Fawad wearing this and speaking gorgeous classical Urdu to you?

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Heck, even Anil looks good in a tux!  Okay, that sounded mean, but you know how sometimes he seems just a bit too boyish for his age, and a little over the top?  Not here!  Tux, glasses, maturity, classic.

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You do need a certain level of maturity to really feel comfortable in the full tux.  For instance, Ranbir here has a definite “I’m wearing Daddy’s clothes to school!” vibe to me.

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Speaking of Daddy’s boys, and taking a brief trip down south, OH DULQUER!!!!  You look about 5.

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See how Prithviraj laughs at this pretension?  Oh yeah, he knows what it is to be an adult.

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And then my beloved Nivin.  Oh no Nivin.  No no no no no no.  Beard, good.  Smile, good.  Jacket, BAD.  Shirt, BAD.  Tie, BAD.

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Better.

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Best!

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So long as we are down south, brace yourself for this next one.  Perhaps cover your eyes to avoid nightmares.  Really, it’s bad.  Prabhas, I love you, but you desperately need a stylist.  I don’t even know what this is.

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Speaking of nightmares and dreams and stuff, I had a dream about Dr. Nene last night!  It wasn’t a sexy dream, it was more that I was just hanging out with him and Madhuri.  He was very fun!  So I feel like I should include him.  Plus, we can all compare and agree that his tux “accessory” is much better than Abhishek’s.

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Okay, this has been fun, but really it was all just a prologue.  We know who looks best in tuxes, and wears them the most, why wait any longer?  I give you, The SRK Formal Wear Series.  First, with a beard.

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Then, without a beard but with a half smile.

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Beard and white coat, very tricky look to pull off

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Slight beard AND slight smile.  And slight waistcoat!!!  Possibly my favorite.

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And finally to end, as almost always, Dharmendra!!!

 

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Now, rankings!  This is very difficult for me, but I shouldn’t ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself.  Obviously Shahrukh is the best for me, but setting him aside, here are my top 5 runner-up “who wore it best”:

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How about you?  Shahid, Akshay, Abhishek, Arjun Rampal, Nawazuddin, Irrfan, Hrithik, John, Salman, Arjun Kapoor, Varun, Ranveer, Fawad, Ranbir, Anil, Dulquer, Prithviraj, Nivin, Prabhas, Dr. Nene, Dharmendra?  (I am taking Shahrukh as a given)

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48 thoughts on “TGIF: Gentlemanly Looks, Men in Tuxes

  1. Have to say the second SRK photo is the best of all of them! Hrithik’s red tux in Bang Bang was atrocious but he looks good in his cameo in Don 2 in a tux.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As long as Shah Rukh is a given, my next five are, top down, Irrfan, Fawad, Abishek (in the plain black), Nawaz, and Anil (he needs love too). Runner up is Akshay in the gray wool is doing things to me though, and I don’t usually find him attractive.

    I’m all about plain black tuxes. Even SRK looks like a waiter in a white jacket. A cute waiter! SRK and the naughty cummerbund pic, though. Yowza.

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    • I kind of hope Irrfan stumbles across this on the internet to know how much we all love him. In a way that he is probably not used to being loved.

      On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 4:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

    • I thought it was too long!!! And then I thought “well, what do I know about men’s suits, maybe it is supposed to be like that?”

      On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 4:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  3. Last year I was in the same room (albeit an auditorium and I was sitting half way back) as Fawad and Nawaz, breathing the same air! I think Fawad was wearing a tux.

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      • Not at that time. I found a pic of the evening, Fawad was in a tux (he entered the auditorium late and crept across the front to take his seat in the front row but we could tell it was him from his silhouette and the place erupted. He later apologised for being late and explained that he had to take meals at regular times cos he is diabetic) but Nawaz wasn’t.

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        • Aw, Fawad is diabetic? That is exactly the kind of minor frailty that just makes him more attractive. Like Shahrukh’s back problems.

          On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 4:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

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  4. 1)All SRK looks
    2) Irrfan
    3)Abhishek
    4) Prithviraj
    And I must admit, I don’t mind this Arjun’s blue jacket, especially when compared with Dulquer look, and Prabhas knitted something. And can we talk about Nivin first photo. What he was thinking?

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    • You know, Nivin is supposed to be super shy and uncomfortable with fans and stuff. Maybe he thought “for my public appearance, I will look as unattractive as possible, and that will drive women away from me.”

      Now, here’s your real challenge, rank the Shahrukh looks! Beard, beard and white jacket, beard and waistcoat, no beard? What’s your order?

      I think mine is beard and waistcoat, beard, no beard, white jacket.

      On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 4:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol LOL Yeah, maybe Nivin just wanted to be left alone, but when I see those clothes I want to cut it to pieces.

        But let’s talk about something sexier, SRK looks:
        1.Slight beard
        2. White suit (maybe little waiter-y but I like it)
        3.Beard look
        4. Without beard

        Liked by 1 person

        • You agree! Finally! I know the without beard is the posed and perfect photo, but I just can’t see it as the best possible option if there is no beard. There always HAS to be a beard!

          Liked by 1 person

      • This is too much brain power for early Saturday morning with a blocked up head but here goes –

        1st equal – no beard, pin tucked shirt, cummerbund and the last one with slight waistcoat
        2nd – the first pic ( there is something weird happening with the sleeve cuffs)
        3rd – white tux , although the black accents on the tux save it from being waiter-like.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pin tucks! That’s what they are! I wanted to say “smocking”, but that felt like the thing on my play dress when I was 5, not the sexy whatever he is wearing.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Prabhas’ cardigan/tux (a tuxigan? a cardego?) is a scream although it looks like it shrunk in the wash – or he raided a petite person’s wardrobe… 🙂

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  6. So exciting! I actually wrote my PhD dissertation on the changes in men’s dress from 1880-1910, which included the origin of the Tuxedo, or dinner jacket. A British term for it is a “dress lounge”, and it was essentially a formal version of the business suit, which replaced the various old school men’s coats (the claw hammer, frock coat, and morning coat) with the boxy “sack” coat that today is the standard. (It was notable for not having a waistline seam, thus being easier to mass produce.) What Americans called a “sack suit” was in Great Britain a “lounge suit” because it was considered appropriate only for leisure activities, not for white collar work or formal situations. What makes a dress lounge or tuxedo is the contrasting (usually satin) lapels and the satin stripe on the outside of the leg. It was worn with a black tie and a matching cummerbund. (Adopted from India by the colonial British.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • So, then, John Abraham’s first photo technically IS a tuxedo because it has contrasting lapels? Even without the shirt?

      Also, THANK YOU! I knew you would have more to say than I did!

      And, after Shahrukh as the default, who in your fashion history expert opinion, wore it best?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Abishek. There seems to be a thing among these gentlemen for collars that don’t stand high enough (the giraffe look) and bow ties that are too small. Note that Shah Rukh also understands these rules. Some of those bow ties look like they are from the boys’ department.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I just reread this, so if I am understanding correctly, the new-ish format of extremely tapered and fitted suit jackets are losing that “sack” advantage because they now have to be specially made again. Not that I am complaining, the super fitted waist and tight shoulders look goooooooood.

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  7. You know how to the average Western eye a lungi looks like a skirt and sometimes it’s hard to shake off the cultural conditioning and see it as sexy/classy (I’m actually thinking about the uproar David Beckham’s skirt caused here)? It’s probably the same effect that makes a lot of Indians look at a man in a tuxedo and think “waiter”. Because that’s effectively what waiters in classy establishments/wedding catering staff wear. I’m sorry if it sounds silly but unless the suit is impeccably cut and the tie is accurately proportioned, it just looks wrong on Indian men. That said, I’m a huge fan of British formalwear. I love how Prince Harry and Prince Philip carry them. I guess it’s the posture and body language. Charles and William slouch and ruin the look.

    I guess it’s the posture and attitude that makes a tux look right on Fawad and not quite on Shahid who is roughly the same height and built.

    Sorry but without that stiff aristocratic posture, a tuxedo makes Indian men look like waiters.

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    • First, I wonder if you have put your finger on why I feel like the older actors can pull it off better? Someone like Irrfan or Shahrukh or Prithviraj has a better idea of how to hold themselves in a suit.

      Second, can I say the flip about lungis? Nivin and Dulquer and those other southern actors look AMAZING in lungis. In working man fight scene kind of outfits, or in the formal wear. And yet when I see a guy in a kilt on the train (there’s a large sized man with long pink hair who wears a kilt on my commute), I just think “ugh, kilt!” And even some of the westernized type Indian actors just can’t wear them without me being super aware that they just aren’t comfortable in them.

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      • I have yet to see an indian guy, other than SRK, who looks bad in a lungi. SRK looked the most comfortable in his clothes in the 90s. Baggy is his thing. That’s what he’s most confident in. He just looks stiff in everything else. Dhoti is the pan-indian formal trouser that works for every Indian guy.

        Kilts I like only on Scotsmen. For real! I think I once saw Tom Cruise wearing one and it looked all kinds or wrong. It’s a rustic outfit. Of course the Indian army has bagpiper units that sometimes wear kilts. It looks right only on skinny brown dudes or tall broad fair full bearded sardars. Because the latter look kinda Scottish and the former we’re used to seeing bare their legs in pulled up lungis 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: TGIF: Boys and Bikes | dontcallitbollywood

  9. I admit I am prejudiced totally and completely, that SRK comes first. He knows how to carry off just about any look/style. He could wear a potato sack and still knock it out of the park.
    My ranking – Abhishek, Salman, Irrfan, Fawad and Prithviraj.

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