The XX Factor

Don’t Try This At Home – The Style of Robert Downey Jr.

RDJ has channeled his (many) rough patches into an unparalleled swagger that has him pulling of (very) questionable Red Carpet looks. Is he a genius or hoodwinking all of us?

This is RDJ's I-just-made-50-million-dollars-so-I-can-wear-whatever-the-hell-I-want face.

A smart guy could do little stupider than taking lifestyle cues from Robert Downey Jr.—heroin, blow, rehab, guns, arrests, attempting a career comeback by lip-synching in an Elton John video—but considering he just confirmed he collected $50 million for The Avengers and is about to open a small film you may have heard of called Iron Man 3, it sounds like things somehow, miraculously, have kinda worked out for him.

The same can be said of the guy’s style—ludicrously boxy blazers, Terry Richardson-esque eyewear, signature ostentatious sneakers with suits—which somehow, miraculously, has kinda worked out for him.

The question is: Do you need to be the quote unquote greatest actor of your generation to get away with a wardrobe that’s equal parts histrionics and intentional bad taste?

In a word, yes. The kind of swagger required to hit a movie premiere in Lederhosen (yep, he did it in Munich a couple of weeks ago) is earned through decades of fucking shit up, not through standing in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room and asking your girlfriend if you can really pull off meggings (you can’t).

But that’s not to say the sharp-dressed man can’t pick up a pointer or two from RDJ. It’s about using your wardrobe to tell people how damn interesting you are without saying a word, so scale your look accordingly–because chances are, you didn’t start smoking weed at age 8 with your dad nor earn an Oscar nod before you were 30. So take baby steps. Try a patterned pocket square or trading your khakis for Nantucket Reds. Just don’t co-opt his entire sense of adventure at once, okay? Because in the wrong hands, that much personal style could be as unwise as signing on to star in Gothika.

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