The Best Men’s Fashion Of 2011

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Sometimes I love menswear more than ladyfashion. It’s not some weird deliberate thing, or a self-hating thing, it’s just that dudes have so few options with which to play dress up that when an ensemble catches my eye, it’s usually a glorious symphony of layered details. Or it’s something so out-of-its-tree bonkers that I can’t help but break it down and golf clap.

It’s almost 2012, which is the year (according to the Mayan calendar and most of the internet) that all land masses catch fire right before sliding into the ocean, thereby killing everything. As such, we can’t very well enter into it neglecting all the lads because they’re adorable and something we’ll miss when everything is gone. Especially Ryan Gosling.


Mark Ronson at the European Premiere of “Arthur” on April 19, at the Versace for H&M Fashion event on Nov. 8, and DJ and at the launch event for the Nike Sportswear “Live For The Game” Ultralounge on June 16.
Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ronson is a frickin’ treasure. Dude is merciless when it comes to killing me dead with the most shut-it-downiest details. Peep this: We’ve got three suits. The first has a satin shawl collar with harem pants that’s coupled with a nehru shirt. The sheen of the lapel is mirrored in the sheen of his super-black dress sock so the eye is drawn directly into his shoe. It’s an elegant line that begins at the shoulder and is unencumbered by a shirt collar or bowtie. The second is head-to-toe fuchsia with saturation points at the jacket buttons and shoes, and the last is not a suit so much as it is a twill trouser (possibly denim) with a double-breasted peacoat/blazer hybrid and a crewneck tee. Extra points on the trompe l’oeil tip. ACK. So good.


Pharrell Williams at the Los Angeles premiere of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” on Dec. 6, at the Italian Embassy in Moscow on March 18, and at the Louis Vuitton Beachside Barbecue on Nov. 30.
Photo: WireImage/Getty Images

Pharrell Williams is the king of being unimpeachably better looking than most of the human population. Clothes just LOVE this guy. I mean, it’s to where a flannel tied around the waist seems revolutionary. On him, the high-school mainstay becomes something we are absolutely ready to see again. He even made the look work from day to night and in all sorts of climates when he wore the same leather moto jacket and Chanel desert boots (expertly adorned with bright red laces) with JORTS and a Louis Vuitton hat. And lest we forget, it’s not just casualwear that skateboard P kills, whilst gallivanting with the likes of Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, and Monica Boccelli we spotted the rapper/producer/Qream manufacturer in a tuxedo and gorgeous fox fur coat.


Adam Lambert at Logo’s “NewNowNext Awards” on April 7, at the 2011 American Music Awards Nov. 20, and at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 27.
Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

Adam Lambert is another one who always BRINGS IT (even in a Finnish jail cell, ahem). Obviously. He loves an asymmetrical unfinished hem, and when he’s not swaddled in lashings of Rick Owens (on the left) he’s turning out weirdtresting textures like the emory-board sheen of a sparkly gray three-piece suit and tie (the peek-a-boo blue of the jacket lining is a nice touch). Glambert also slays on the grooming front. An all-black look is set off with guyliner, Dorito goatee, a villainous ’stache, and shiny mile-high hair. Only borings and normies can’t appreciate an expertly honed evil magician look.


Bill Cunningham at the Norma Kamali Spring 2012 collection on Sept. 14, on the streets of Manhattan on Sept. 13 during Spring 2012 Fashion Week, and at the Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala on June 1.
Photo: Getty Images

Bill Cunningham had an enormous year fashionably-speaking, with the release of the documentary Bill Cunningham New York that chronicled the life of the esteemed fashion photographer for The New York Times. While he’s frequently spotted in his uniform of a cobalt blue French work shirt with patch pockets, khaki pants, and black sneakers, his face mashed against a viewfinder, the year also saw the NYC LEGEND in Norma Kamali 3-D specs and also a black suit (!!!) that showed off his natty side with French cuffs.


Jaden Smith at the BET Awards on June 26, at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards on April 2, and at the “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” premiere on June 28.
Photo: Getty Images

Despite my owning pants older than him, you have to give it up to Jaden Smith for his indomitable babyswag. Whether it’s tiger print jeggings, an MCM varsity jacket or sequin-paneled jeans coupled with a leather jacket (with fantastic contrast lining), his clothes are always immaculately tailored for his slight frame and topped off with a cap. Also, your boy is unafraid of wearing a python vest or having a Supra high-top game that’s rivaled only by his pal Justin Bieber.


Justin Bieber at the 2011 American Music Awards on Nov. 20, performing on the “Today” show on Nov. 23, and at the Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 7.
Photo: WireImage/Splash News

You guys, remember when Justin Bieber wore the oldtimiest tux in all the land? While I would’ve swatted his hands with a ruler so he wouldn’t shove them in his pockets and sully the lines of a shawl collar and coattails, I definitely respect the effort. Typically though, Justin stays casual regardless of the event and we loved the jeans coupled with a Fair Isle sweater x varsity jacket combo as much as we enjoyed his play on a formal suit at the Teen Choice Awards. A moto jacket vest with a wonky bow tie and raw denim complete the look.


Jeremy Scott at a presentation of Jeremy Scott for Adidas Originals on Oct. 7, at the launch of Gwen Stefani’s new children’s clothing line Harajuku Mini for Target on Nov. 12, and at the NY launch event on Dec. 13.
Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

OK, so I know it hardly seems fair to have a legit designer like Jeremy Scott on the list, someone who has the added advantage of being able to waltz to a closet filled with designer duds of your own making and sartorial predilection, but we couldn’t complete a list like this without his inclusion. The ish would be bereft. Whether he’s wearing an entire warmup suit printed with a measuring tape design (that really does showcase his diabolically good posture) or a chunky knitted skeleton sweater with matching creepers, or he’s nestled under a hypercolor fur stole, striped sweater, silver trousers, and 2NE1 collabo Adidas JS wings, Jeremy Scott knows how to dress with great appeal and wit. Plus, his hair stays looking ridic perf in a maje way.


Kanye West at Givenchy’s Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 show during Paris Fashion Week on March 6, performing at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 17, and at Sonia Rykiel’s Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 show during Paris Fashion Week on March 5. Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

Say what you will about Kanye West’s foray into designing womenswear, but the Chicago native knows how to put a look together. A Givenchy rottweiler tee, leather trousers, blacked out varsity jacket ensemble is complemented by a somber expression, and of course there was that Celine blouse incident that we all know well and admire, but it’s this suit at Paris Fashion Week that betrays such a high grade of calculated style math that I adore. Dark blue with a peak satin collar and a fine-gauge cashmere scarf tucked alongside the lapel and a jolt of bright red at the shoes. Perfection.


Rain for MCM.
Photo: Courtesy of Taiwan & Hong Kong AppleDaily

Since Rain has been conscripted into the South Korean army for his mandatory two-year engagement, we’ve been pining for the fashion magazine editorials that don’t come or the MCM luxury ads just like the ones you see above. Perched atop an enormous monogrammed steamer in rag-and-rolled khakis and an MCM varsity jacket (that differs markedly from Jaden’s, you’ll note) and in another look perched atop his toes in MCM mids and a Harrington, we are reminded of the enormous handsomeness of the K-Pop GOD and acting genius. Return to us soon, Rain. We’re only happy when it Rains. How I wish it would Rain. Your love’s coming down like… etc., etc.,…


Ryan Gosling at the “Drive” Photocall during the 64th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on July 20, and at the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” World Premiere on July 19.
Photo: WireImage/Getty Images

What is there even left to say about Ryan Gosling? The dude just can’t lose this year. Not even a little bit. Not only does he laugh at exactly the right level of slightly ugly but he can actually dress with aplomb. While Gosling would maintain a freakish level of hotness in the most predictable handsome-man gear or even whiskered stove-pipe carpenter jeans (because that would be hilarious), the flaxen-haired leading man (of my dreams) sorta wears the weirdest clothes.

Take this navy piped pajama top at Cannes that’s matched with white jeans and blue and white spectator shoe—SO odd and SO hot in its oddness. It’s the same ease with which he sauntered onto the stage of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in a graphic tee, tapered black suit, black smoking slippers, and no socks. And there is also the issue of his having an enviable tailor. This shiny Gucci suit with its mega pointy lapel, high placket, and little-to-no give is incredibly stylized, but the thing that prevents it from tumbling into Puffy-circa-Hype-Williams-videos territory is that a) it looks like it was cut and sewn with him in it and b) the simplicity and tininess of the tie.

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