The Oscars 2020: The best menswear and grooming trends (and not just about Brad Pitt)

Mike Christensen

10 February 2020

As South-Korean exportParasitetakes home four Academy Awards at the 2020 Oscars, here are seven style tips you can import for your own red-carpet look - from Joaquin Phoenix in Stella McCartney to Timothée Chalamet in Prada

10 February 2020 | Mike Christensen

He won the Golden Globes. He (and his ex-wife) won the SAG awards. Hell, he even won the BAFTAs last week without even turning up. So it came as zero surprise that Brad Pitt (finally) won an Oscar for acting - and with it yet more hearts and minds, if that were possible. The happiest of Oscar nights in recent memory though was won overwhelming by South Korean Bong Joon Ho and his comedic masterpiece Parasite, with notable mentions afforded to Keanu Reeves (because he’s Keanu Reeves and brought his mum) and Leonardo DiCaprio’s unflappable hair.

Whatever your feelings towards celebrities and their favourite ally, fashion, few can deny interest in showbiz’s night of nights, and the 92nd edition did not disappoint. Without a host to anchor the night, much of the talking was left to what the stars were wearing. If the sight of Jon Hamm in full metallic Tom Ford at New York Fashion week days ago hadn’t prepared you for where menswear is at in 2020, then last night’s red carpet will have brought you up to speed. Eccentric choices tend to be made by entertainment’s most eccentric types, so here we breakdown seven takeouts that us mortals can best relate to - Brad Pitt notwithstanding, because well, how can anyone relate to being like Brad Pitt?

1. The Classic reins supreme

2020 saw traditional favour anything out of the ordinary, with the majority of Hollywood’s royalty choosing classic tuxedos instead of more attention-seeking looks from recent years. The devil was in the detail, and where better to start than the best actor. Wearing custom Stella McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix struck gold not only for his performance in Joker, but also because he chose to make choices for the future of the planet, wearing the same tux for the entire award season to reduce waste. A welcome reminder that one well-fitted tuxedo (or suit) is more than enough. Other notable wearers of fitted-to-perfection tuxedos included Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach in Dior Men separates, 1917 star George MacKay in Dunhill and fellow Oscar rookie James Corden. On the flip side though, Jeff Bezos duly demonstrated money can’t necessarily buy style. Did he just make pleated bib shirts and button studs a thing of the past, and unquestionably unfashionable? We think, yes.

Joaquin Phoenix wears Stella McCartney at the Oscars 2020
George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman at the Oscars 2020

2. Modern takes a backseat

A stark reminder that going woke isn’t a surefire way to get noticed, and that being stylish doesn’t require bold colours or statement looks. That said, it was no surprise Timothée Chalamet turned heads in an outfit befitting of a chic Mike the Mechanic. His zipped Prada bomber jacket stole Margot Robbie’s red carpet limelight and reminded us why every twentysomething wants to be Chalamet’s friend, or more. John Cho in terracotta Ermenegildo Zegna XXX, shawl collar and no socks deserves praise for how straightforward confidence can own a killer look, while Keanu Reeves’ mother showed us all how to rock a white tux, where no one barr Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos was brave enough to boldly go. Seasoned style stalwarts Spike Lee and Elton John brought their sneaker and purple-tux (both Gucci) games to the party amid respective tributes to Kobe Bryant and presumably Elton John himself. 

Natalie Portman and Timothée Chalamet at the Oscars 2020
John Cho at the Oscars 2020
Taika Waititi at the Oscars 2020
Patricia Taylor and Keanu Reeves at the Oscars 2020

3. All black

Leading the way with his FOUR Oscars and all-black ensemble was Parasite director Bong Joon-ho - in an elegant look complimented by everyone’s favourite translator, Sharon Choi, also wearing exclusively black. Al Pacino matched a very dapper velvet lapel with suede loafers while other Leading Men alumni Rami Malek and Mahershala Ali both won best-dressed plaudits in all-black double-breasted numbers; Malek’s killer Saint Laurent lapel paired with a Cartier watch, while Ali sported a more understated Ermenegildo Zegna XXX tuxedo, with an Omega timepiece and David Yurman necklace finishing off his winning look.

Quest Love at the Oscars 2020

Quest Love accessorised an embroided collarless shirt with a sizeable slab of crystal hanging around his neck and skate legend Tony Hawk brought some emo spirit to the Oscars in all black - though surely he missed a trick by not wearing a pair of Vans or Converse? Elsewhere, Eminem proved you don’t only get one shot as he surprised the Dolby Theatre with a rendition of Lose Yourself, finding himself in all black at the Oscars 18 years after he failed to show.

Remi Malek at the Oscars 2020
View this post on Instagram

And you may ask yourself... I got here by riding the coattails of #learningtoskateboardinawarzoneifyoureagirl congrats to @caroldysinger & @skateistanollie on the nonination! EDIT: ?!!!

A post shared by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

Mahershala Ali at the Oscars 2020
Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino at the Oscars 2020

4. Well-kept facial hair

Adam Driver’s take home can be that he has the most consistent beard/moustache/goatie winning combo in showbiz. Sam Mendes possesses facial hair befitting of a Sir and Shia Leboeuf’s grade-one all-over buzzcut approach to grooming is the most Shia Leboeuf thing of 2020. Though the Oscar for best grooming goes to its namesake, Oscar Isaac. His dedication to an immaculately groomed beard is impeccable. With both a high-line that accentuates his cheekbones, peak thickness and a healthy embrace of salt and pepper seasoning, it’s an admirable life lesson in how to best manage your grey hairs. Luxury London can only speculate, but we reckon he uses Tom Ford beard oil to achieve such perfection.

View this post on Instagram

Oscar x #Oscars.

A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy) on


5. Accessories

Watches, broaches, flower power, sunglasses - they all found their way on to the red carpet. While Spike Lee’s Kobe Bryant tribute stole the carpet and many a Laker’s heart, it was his wristwear that had watch enthusiasts salivating, with a 2018 rose-gold Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Root Beer’ model peering out from beneath several beaded bracelets. Dean-Charles Chapman’s star continues to blossom thanks to a bright crimson flower pin; Colin Jost flashed a classic TAG Heuer Monaco timepiece to match his equally classic-looking wife, Scarlett Johansson; while powerhouses Phoenix and Al Pacino donned sunnies on the carpet, presumably to guard their eyes from the flashing cameras. The insatiable Chalamet, meanwhile, proved that men can also wear broaches, with his Cartier number proving the pick of the night.

Spike Lee at the Oscars 2020
Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars 2020

6. Natural Hollywood hair

Down California way, there is clearly something in the water - with Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio and Taika Waititi taking the top spots in the hair stakes. The unflappable DiCaprio, with arguably the most distinctive hairline in the business, did not have a single hair out of place and his lid is the ultimate lesson in how to use a comb to perfection. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re unsure whether Reeves’ locks have seen a brush since his renaissance last year but absolutely no one (not even his mother) would mock it. Completing the winning trifecta of hair goals is the clean-shaven Waititi, the Maori boasting the type of natural volume, curl and sass in his hairstyle that quite frankly makes us love him more than any other Kiwi.

Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves at the Oscars 2020
Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt at the Oscars 2020 

7. South Korean skincare

While Paris, London and Milan are widely acknowledged as the fashion capitals of the world, when it comes to grooming, skincare and men’s make-up, Seoul is the leader of the pack. Given Parasite and South Korea hands down won this year’s Oscars, it deserves its own trend and should give men the confidence to at least consider how make-up can be for them. Proof comes from the entire Parasite cast but especially take note of Sun-kyun Lee and Kang-ho Song’s pristine skin. Korean men don’t have the same hang ups about personal grooming (guess where men wearing sheet masks originated from?), rather they see the importance of investing in quality products. Get yourself some Innisfree moisturiser for starters then load up on other notable brands like The Face Shop, Benton and Laneige to ensure your grooming routine can reach new levels of glow. Because, gents, that’s a thing. 

View this post on Instagram

Team Parasite has arrived. #Oscars

A post shared by The Academy (@theacademy) on


The cast of Parasite at the Oscars 2020

Finally, a last word for one man who pretty much nailed all these trends. Wearing Brioni, you’ll never guess who? Yes, we can but all strive to be more like Mr Brad Pitt. Until next year.

Brad Pitt at the Oscars 2020