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If we thought 2020 was a year to remember, then 2021 arguably surpassed it with flying colours—not least in the fashion realm, and how men chose to dress themselves.

Just like the year on a whole, the red carpets of 2021 felt like an undefined, chaotic smorgasbord of events, especially considering the ones in the first half of the year were held mostly virtually. This allowed famous men to flex their Zoom camera style (think Riz Ahmed in relaxed Celine Homme, and Tahar Rahim wearing slippers with his Louis Vuitton suit at the virtual Critics Choice Awards), but once carpets became physical once again, it felt like men’s fashion had turned over a new leaf.

Where the black tux used to be the norm for men’s fashion at prestigious red carpet events—with a white-tie suit occasionally slipping through the cracks—famous men have been dressing with a noticeable new level of pizzazz since being let free from their virtual confines.

Things we never thought we’d see in 2021, but did: Daniel Craig wearing a magenta-coloured velvet suit for his final premiere outing as James Bond, Justin Bieber popularising the ridiculously-baggy ’fit in a suit from his own brand, Drew House, at the Met Gala, and Jacob Elordi bringing back ’70s American Hustle-style exaggerated tailoring with swagger for an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. A casual tailoring masterclass, if we do say so ourselves.

The year gone by has been littered with fantastic menswear moments from our favourite celebrities, often completely defying convention. The aforementioned Met Gala paid host to plenty of fantastic style moments, but it was A$AP Rocky’s look, a repurposed blanket from new brand ERL, that embodied just how inventive men felt this year.

Perhaps the standout of all 2021 men’s fashion trends is that simpler is sometimes, better; take Harry Styles, who wore sneakers with his retro-print Gucci suit at the 2021 BRIT Awards, or Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya, who opted out of a traditional tux at the Academy Awards and wore—gasp!—a t-shirt under his incredibly sharp Bottega Veneta blazer. Once this would’ve been considered Oscars sacrilege, but in 2021, it’s a whole different ball game.

Perhaps it’s the fact that fashion has been relegated to the rectangular, often pixelated, confines of a Zoom call over much of the past year, that’s made famous men want to dress in a manner that stands out. In a world where nothing is certain, why waste time dressing blandly?

Keep scrolling for GQ’s picks of the best menswear red carpet ’fits from 2021, from LaKeith Stanfield to Timothée Chalamet.

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Alton Mason in Theophilio at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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A$AP Rocky in an ERL cape at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Bad Bunny in Burberry at the Grammys, March 2021.

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Bowen Yang in a Zegna suit and Syro shoes at the Emmys, September 2021.

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Colman Domingo in Atelier Versace at the Oscars, April 2021.

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Dan Levy in custom Loewe at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Daniel Craig in Anderson & Sheppard at the No Time To Die premiere, September 2021.

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Daniel Kaluuya in Bottega Veneta at the Oscars, April 2021.

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Harry Styles in Gucci at the BRIT Awards, May 2021.

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Headie One in Louis Vuitton at the BRIT Awards, May 2021.

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Jacob Elordi in Hugo Boss on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, August 2021.

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Jake Gyllenhaal in Valentino at the Venice Film Festival, September 2021.

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Jared Leto in Gucci at the House of Gucci London premiere, November 2021.

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Jason Sudeikis in Tom Ford at the Emmys, September 2021.

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Jeremy Irons at the House of Gucci New York premiere, November 2021.

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John Boyega in Louis Vuitton at the Critics Choice Awards, March 2021.

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Josh O’Connor in Loewe at the Rome Film Festival, October 2021.

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Justin Bieber in Drew House at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Kodi Smit-McPhee in Gucci at the LACMA Gala, November 2021.

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LaKeith Stanfield in Saint Laurent at an Oscars screening in London, May 2021

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Leslie Odom Jr. in Valentino Haute Couture at the virtual Golden Globes, March 2021.

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Lil Nas X in Versace at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Maluma in Versace at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Oscar Isaac at the Venice Film Festival, September 2021.

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Pharrell in Chanel at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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Timothée Chalamet in Alexander McQueen at the Dune London premiere, October 2021.

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Timothée Chalamet in Haider Ackermann at the Venice Film Festival, September 2021.

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Troye Sivan in Altu and Rick Owens boots at the Met Gala, September 2021.

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