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Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher

The first Academy Awards was hosted by Mr Douglas Fairbanks in 1929 and, given the fact that the ceremony is now indelibly associated with men in dinner jackets, it's interesting that he wore cream-coloured trousers, a soft-collared shirt, neck tie and a double-breasted patch-pocket blazer. In that inaugural year there were only 12 awards bestowed, with Best Picture going to the WWI movie Wings - the last silent film to win the Best Picture award until The Artist triumphed on Sunday night.

In sartorial terms the news this year was that midnight blue dinner jackets were almost as popular as black ones (something we mention in our spring summer Essentials), that there's no consensus about the width or shape of lapels, that double-breasted jackets aren't nearly as popular as they deserve to be, and that no matter how sharp a man's outfit is, the accessory that really makes him look good is a beautiful woman - kudos to Messrs George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Jason Statham, Rick Rubin, Benjamin Millepied and Kermit the Frog.

To-do list for stylists dressing
next year's leading men


Puff rather than fold the pocket squares

Hem the trousers so that they only break once on the shoe

Use substantial Northampton-made shoes, rather than slender Italian ones

Put slim guys into double-breasted jackets, and big guys into single-breasted ones, rather than vice versa

Insist on real bow ties, and ditch the neck ties

Think more about the width of lapels

Use jackets without pocket flaps, or at least tuck them in so that they're out of sight

Organise either a horseshoe-shaped waistcoat, or a cummerbund, so that trouser waistbands are covered

Consider velvet jackets - note how good Messrs Christopher Plummer and Tom Ford looked this year

Realise that cream-coloured shirts are more elegant than white ones

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