It's a well-known fact that many actors are much shorter in real life than they appear onscreen. Their cover is blown when they show up on a red carpet looking like gnomes next to their high-heeled female counterparts. Luckily, just as lady celebrities have stylists to spiff them up, male celebrities have helpers, too. Enter Alan Au, men's stylist and co-owner of Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8” and Under, a Hollywood-based designer menswear store for gentlemen of petite stature. Alan and his father Jimmy have outfitted many big stars (fame-wise, at least) like Nathan Lane, Martin Sheen, and Mark Wahlberg for red carpets in the past. Although this year's Oscar nominees were an unusually tall bunch, Alan weighed in on the importance of dressing according to one's body type to look as statuesque as possible. See his commentary in our slideshow.
"Tom Cruise looked really sharp. I questioned the size of his peaked lapel a little bit; I might have chosen a skinnier peaked lapel. But being that he's more of an athletic guy, I think this worked well for him."
"Skinny lapels are a trend right now, but they make you look boxy if you're broad-shouldered. Mario should have gone for a bigger lapel and a longer jacket. A cropped jacket can make you look like a refrigerator if you have an athletic build."
"A lot of guys were wearing shawl lapels, and I thought they were a big fail. Because the shawl lapel is curved, it has to hit your chest and torso just right, otherwise it breaks in the wrong place. Almost every actor I saw it on, it broke in the wrong place. The one that really caught my attention was Zachary Quinto. He was really the worst."
"Billy Crystal and Tom Cruise are about the same size, and what worked for both of them was that everything was really well-tailored. I think Crystal's outfit was made-to-measure. I was concerned about the tails, because tails on a shorter guy can really look bad, but his turned out just right. If they hit at the right point on your legs, they can look great on a shorter guy, but too long is a disaster."
"Zach Galifianakis is another short guy who went with tails. I know he was just trying to be funny, but it still looked appropriate. At least it fit well."
"One of my biggest frustrations when I see guys on red carpets is that they don't fix their pants. The moment they get out of their limos, they’re in front of cameras: No guy gets the opportunity to fix his pants. You need that ten seconds of time to adjust your pants so that they’re sitting at your waist again, and the bottom of the pants break correctly at your feet. Everybody’s pants looked like they were too long because they're pushed down from sitting. Every guy should really wear suspenders if they're not going to take their jackets off."
"A lot of guys tried the trim pant, which is great for a suit, but on a tux I think it looks better to go more traditional. George Clooney stuck to a traditional cut with his pants, and he got it perfectly. There's very little I can say about him, usually."
"Colin Firth is another guy who wore the shawl lapel, and I don't think it worked."
"Sean Combs went with the skinny, skinny lapel style, and he’s athletic. He should not be going that skinny. He could have doubled the size of his lapel and he would’ve looked more balanced."
"I think the one guy who stood out that got the right bowtie proportion was Thomas Langmann, the producer. He got the skinny bowtie part down right, balanced with the rest of his whole outfit. It’s supposed to frame your face to create balance."
"The one guy who doesn’t look good in a skinny cropped jacket is the athletic guy. A great example of a well-tailored jacket on the wrong person is what Brad Pitt wore. He wore a cropped jacket that was tailored to perfection, but the look was wrong. When you have that kind of a broad shoulder at his height, the jacket looks way too short. If you look at him you can see it’s very well put together, but it doesn’t look right to me."
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