Award-winning style

What everyday guys can learn from the red carpet.

Most of the people I know who follow award shows these days only stick around for the red carpet entrances, and then the next day they'll watch the best clips from the ceremony on YouTube and read the winners' list.

When it comes down to it, the fashion and the funnies are all most of us really care about. It used to be hard for guys to subscribe to the former because it was just the same penguin suits for days, but as the years have progressed more men are mixing it up on the red carpet and giving us non-specials some fresh ideas on the formal front.

Here’s what we can learn from the winner’s circle this year.

Emmy Awards
Celebrating the best – and sometimes the worst – when it comes to TV, the men of the small screen can stretch things from the smart casual to the super formal and every shade in between.  But, as usual, the formal guys are the ones to watch. Playing it safe with a debonair edge, John Hamm killed it in a double-breasted Tom Ford with point collar and chunky bowtie. And Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt showed exactly how to stand out while fitting in by combining his all-black look with some scuffed boots. Too cool for school.

Golden Globes
The awards night where film and television meet always promises a few surprises. Seen as the front-runner to the Academy Awards, actors get to try out some looks before the big night. It’s like a semi-formal in that way – well, if Year 12 boys had the money and inclination to not just recycle their Year 10 best. He might not have been the best dressed on the night, but Matt LeBlanc comes pretty damn close by showing that you can personalise a formal look by adding colour with a blue hue. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also scores major points for taking a risk with casual suiting and a striped bowtie.

Grammy Awards
The Grammys are the hands-down best when it comes to seeing some serious style; sometimes ridiculous, always entertaining, it has the rest of the lot beat when it comes to interesting colour and fabric choices. Producer Swizz Beatz was the winner on the red carpet, offsetting his fuchsia velvet jacket with sunnies and a matching bowtie. Not something you’d wear to your mate’s wedding but perfect for the guy who has the presence to pull it off with panache. I never thought I’d say this, but Mario Lopez was sporting an easily adaptable and stylish look with a two-button navy suit and medium blue shirt. Though the satin piping detracts from the sharpness.

Academy Awards
Showing that a simple, well-cut tuxedo is all you need to separate the men from the boys, Sean Coombs went the classic route with some stylish accents, but, again, it’s the interesting choice of bowtie that really finished things off. Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto showed how to best mix the old with the new by choosing a traditional tux with a subtle, midnight blue lapel. Perfect! George Clooney let us into the largely unspoken world of men’s undergarments on the big night when he joked about the importance of easy access. "What I do, because I get chilly, I like to wear long johns,” he said. “The full one with the trap door in the back.”

Did you pick up any handy tips - or witness any cautionary tales - during awards season?