By Khoi Nguyen, guest contributor from GentlemanWithin.com
Famed comedian, check.
Rising movie star, check.
The man has his own shoes by Nike, and an endorsement deal worth around $10 million. Simply put, he's killing it in the entertainment industry and more impressively, doing it in style (pun intended.) Of course, as a rock-star celeb, he can afford a personal stylist. His stylist Ashley North said that "Kevin has gotten really into fashion, and in turn we’ve started to create a signature look for him,” she said. “He’s become more aware of his own style.” From one Instagram post to the next, Hart's able to effortlessly switch up his style from casual to red carpet ready.
In this series, we feature celebrities, but more importantly, "not-so-tall" men, and break down their style—what they're doing well, why I think it works, and where they may have dropped the ball. Let's get started with funny man, Kevin Hart.
Why it works:
Nailing the fit is the most important rule of menswear. On the left, Kevin keeps it simple with a fitted, black T-shirt that accentuates his muscular physique. There's no harm in showing off those gains at the gym. The large dial watch actually works for his athletic frame, and also because he's Kevin Hart. On the right, he displays a comfortable, casual style, with a fitted zip-hoodie, jogger-esque sweatpants, and clean Nike Air Max to finish the athleisure look. Both of these looks are proof that casual style doesn't need to be sloppy.
Why it works:
The funny man steps it up a level with these next two looks. On the left, it doesn't matter so much that the contrast of the sweater and pants are cutting him in half because for one, the fit is on point and also because the bold color draws the eyes to his upper half actually helping him to appear taller. As a bonus, the rugged (not too bulky) work boots give him an extra boost. You may also notice the 'stacking' of his jeans which may look odd, but is popular in streetwear circles. This trend works with slim or skinny fit jeans, but is not for everyone. On the right, his v-neck dresses down the more formal suit. And the teal color gives it even more of a casual feel. By introducing pieces like slim fit dark wash denim, a fitted wool sweater, and a tailored suit, Kevin is able to elevate his look into smart casual territory.
RED CARPET READY
Why it works:
Tailoring and complementary colors. These red carpet ready looks have #GQ written all over it. His style is so on point in these photos that his height is an afterthought. Clearly the work of a stylist with an eye for details.
- Elegant in black and works for his skin tone.
- Deep burgundy complements his darker skin tone.
- Wearing "all black everything" streamlines his look giving the illusion of height. And as with #2, the higher rise pants can be good for shorter men, in this case raising his perceived waistline helping him appear taller.
- Kevin's pose says it all. He's owning this look and he knows it. The gold accessories again, complement his skin color.
The title of his groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out performance at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field in 2016, "What Now?" can also describe these questionable looks by the comedic rock star. He may or may not have had his stylist's help here, or here (the fit is actually not bad, and maybe he was experimenting.)
Why it doesn't work:
Here are a few things I see wrong with these four outfits. First, across the board, the fit is clearly not up to his usual standard. The pants are too baggy and are spilling all over his shoes. Forget stacks, those are unflattering rolls. It doesn't help that he's wearing bulky high-top sneakers that make him appear even shorter. High-top shoes are not the most flattering for shorter men, especially paired with baggy pants. Double no-no. Secondly, the red jacket is an odd choice, even for Hart. Not to mention, he's doing the whole matchy-matchy thing with the shoes, which seems too try hard. But I won't be so hard on Kevin, because he clearly has a taste for good style. We can give him a pass for these looks because as men on our own style journeys, we've all had our off days.
IN THE END
Peter Manning customers know the struggles shorter men face when it comes to dressing well (before discovering brands like PMNYC of course.) There was always the issue of ill-fitting, off-the-rack clothes, shirts billowing at the waist, sleeves way too long, and pants spilling around the shoes. Standing at 5'4" (according to Google), sources indicate that Hart is only 5'2", making his grasp of style that more impressive. Some guys don't realize that they're short. Kevin acknowledges it ALL THE TIME. He's just so confident that it doesn't affect him. As he said, he plays with the hand he was dealt, embracing his shortness, something all men of modest height can learn from. One thing's for sure, if he keeps stylin' it like Beckham maybe this new king of comedy can be a king of style too.
All photos courtesy of Kevin's Instagram.