David Oyelowo first came to our attention as MI5 agent Danny in the cult BBC TV series Spooks. Since then, the British-Nigerian actor has shared screen time with Forest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey in The Butler, won rave reviews for his performance as Martin Luther King in Selma and, more importantly, worn just about every amped-up colour, pattern and texture on the red carpet.
In his latest film, A United Kingdom, Oyelowo tells the story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, who shocks the world when he marries a white woman from London. It’s an apt role for Oyelowo, whose grandfather was a Nigerian monarch, but as we show here, the man’s well on his way to reaching suit-king status.
Aside from revealing Oyelowo to be a skilled suit-wearer, this list shows the Selma star isn’t afraid to test his tailoring limits, either. Case in point: This statement Burberry jacket, which made an appearance at the Berlin International Film Festival. Letting the pattern do the talking, the rest is kept low-key with solid black tones.
It’s not just suits that our man of the moment nails on the daily, here he shows he’s got a serious knack for neckwear, too. Despite being a bit more wallpaper than your usual print, Oyelowo stops the leaf motif from becoming dizzying by keeping the rest of the look to just a handful of colours.
Oyelowo had no intention of going home when carriages were called at the 2015 Golden Globes. Ready to cut a rug, he opted for eye-catching eveningwear courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana. The brilliant three-piece shouldn’t work in addition to the glittering slippers, but it does, and the whole look is enough to make a disco ball look as dull as dishwater.
Proving that black-on-black isn’t the only tonal tailoring play in the book, Oyelowo makes his red carpet compatriots green with envy with this slick double-breasted take. The ESPY Awards, where this look debuted, may celebrate sporting achievement but Oyelowo deserves a gong for excellence in sartorial performance.
Sans tie, air tie, whatever you call it, Oyelowo does it well. Flaunting the usual rules of eveningwear, he shows some serious sartorial balls by skewing the self-strangulation that comes with a bow tie. In its place, a grandad collar shirt with contrast black buttons. Is it rebellious? Yes. Can we argue with it? No.
It’s at black tie dos that Oyelowo’s next-level menswear moves come into their own. Making the most of his versatile skin tone at the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the actor put the red in red carpet with this crimson get-up from, who else, Dolce & Gabbana.
Giving a masterclass in treating the suit as separates, here the LA resident shows he hasn’t been tainted by California’s relaxed way of dressing with a natty check number and contrast stripe tie. Think this look is fairly pared-back by Oyelowo’s standards? Think again – clock the jewel-encrusted lace-ups.
Never one to miss an opportunity to stand out; even when erring towards traditional style, Oyelowo still finds a way to make a statement. Double-breasted dinner jackets are now acceptable alternatives to the original single-breasted style. But of course that would be too plain Jane without the jacquard detailing and lapel pin.
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