When male nominees walk the red carpet at the Emmys, chances are certain style details will belie their age, says Hollywood stylist Jeanne Yang, whose clients, including Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Scott Eastwood and Alexander Skarsgard, range in age from late 20s to mid-60s. "Younger guys like to do a pocket square or add a lapel pin, like a punctuation mark," she says. "But most guys over 40 tend to think little extras are over the top." Stylist Alicia Lombardini, who is dressing nominee Aziz Ansari, 33, agrees: "We have fun with accessories, whether it's a bold tie or pocket squares. Aziz doesn't like to play it safe, so traditional black tuxedos aren't ever his go-to - we look for colors and fabrics with texture that bring a little more dimension to the look."
Unsurprisingly, the over-40 crowd likes to stick with classic gray, black or navy single-breasted suiting. But traditional doesn't have to mean boring. Nominees Idris Elba, 44, Bryan Cranston, 60, and Liev Schreiber, 48, do it right with contrasting shirt studs and other subtle details, such as the black shirt that Elba swapped in with his black tie at the BAFTAs. "Bryan Cranston certainly dresses with a gentlemanly aesthetic, but he likes everything pretty slick and trim," says his stylist Michael Fisher. "It's not your father's tuxedo."
Yang also noted that the 40-and-under crew go for suiting with color and double-breasted jackets, currently making a comeback. Rami Malek, 35, wore a double-breasted Ovadia & Sons tux at the SAG Awards in January. "Now most of the younger guys say, 'I love that' to double-breasted jackets," says Yang. "Everything's been turned on its head." Fisher concurs: "There's a bit of a retro thing with younger guys like Chris Pine who like to wear a double-breasted jacket, whereas if you put it on an older guy, it looks dated."
Peek-a-boo ankles are more next gen than older gent. "Guys over 40 always wear socks and liken a single-break hem," says Yang. "While guys under 40 are typically no socks or hidden socks. If they wear socks, they want fun, wacky socks."
Jared Leto, 44, is an exception to the rule, as he constantly pushes the envelope, most recently in a green Gucci jacket with pink trousers. Says Jenny Ricker, who is dressing Thomas Middleditch and Kit Harington (who will show up in Giorgio Armani or Burberry): "On the carpet, you want to be happy with how you look in photos for years to come, and I can't say that would be true with a pink tuxedo - unless you're Jared Leto."
5 EMMY NIGHT TRENDS
VELVET SHOES "You're going to see a lot of velvet or embellished slippers, not just classic patent lace-ups," says stylist Michael Fisher (who adds that velvet will show up in tuxes, too); Christian Louboutin shoes, $995, christianlouboutin.com
COLOR OR MICROPRINTS "There's going to be a lot more color in tuxes," says Fisher, whose clients include Bryan Cranston and James Corden. Aside from blue and microprints, "there have been chocolate browns and more flashy reds and burgundy"; Saint Laurent bordeaux jacket, $2,790, ysl.com
KNIT BOW TIES "I'm now seeing more bow ties in knit fabric," says Jenny Ricker, who styles Kit Harington and Thomas Middleditch; Lanvin bow tie, $185, neimanmarcus.com
PLEATED SHIRTS "We're definitely going pleat-aggressive," says Ilaria Urbinati, who dresses Rami Malek, Tom Hiddleston and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; shirt by Tom Ford (the brand of James Corden's Emmy tux), $780, mrporter.com
FORMAL TOUCHES "I see a return to a more formal evening wear with cummerbunds and waistcoats," says Fisher; Ralph Lauren cummerbund, $285, ralphlauren.com; Saint Laurent slim-fit wool waistcoat with satin back panel, $990 at mrporter.com. Adds Ricker: "Lapel pins are something unique that's not over the top."
This story first appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.