Johnny Depp

Jim Spellman/

With the Oscars coming up this week, I wonder: Why the men on the red carpet don't take more fashion risks? A little plaid or polka dots never hurt anyone.
—Greg N., via Facebook

Risks? During the Oscars? The most importantest, serious, prestigious self-appointedly momentous night of the year?

You're mad, mad I say!

Years ago, stylists tell me, men took greater risks on the Oscar carpet, but even then, those guys were usually either young or comedians. So will we see any fashion heroes on the carpet this year? (George Clooney and Jeff Bridges, we're kinda talking to you, here.)

Sadly, probably not. In fact, one Best Actor nominee has already shot down any hope of even a little bit of fashion insanity...

...despite the fact that he's nominated for a movie called Crazy Heart.

"I was very eager to work with Jeff Bridges and create a specific look with him," red carpet style expert Michael O'Connor tells me. "And basically, his publicist told me right up front that he's just really, really conservative. And that's really the crowd this year. George Clooney, Jeff Bridges—they're all pretty conservative."

Johnny Depp has rocked a red tie on a red carpet, which, comparatively, is considered all kinds of insane.

And Justin Timberlake once wore a blue shirt, but it was to the much less stuffy SAG Awards.

Generally, O'Connor tells me, men don't experiment much these days because they either want to match their dates or defer to the supposed seriousness of the Academy Awards.

If you do see any experimentation on the Oscar carpet this year, it's likely to come in one of two forms: the color of the tie or some form of jewelry flair.

"There's something new—overall and in Hollywood—and it's called the tie accent," O'Connor says. "It's not too flashy—a simple ring that clips at the base of the knot of the tie. I've lent them out to the Jonas Brothers. At least there's a little something that gives some eye interest there."


See guys who don't exactly play it safe in our Real Men Take (Red Carpet) Risks gallery!

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