I thought getting the privilege of standing in the “priority line” at a Toronto International Film Festival premiere would be different, but no.
As we all waited outside the Princess of Whales Theatre for the opening of “The Current War,” the well-dressed VIPs around me were just as star-struck as the teenagers behind the gates, all waiting for a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch.
“No, that’s not him.”
“Oh wait, it’s definitely him.”
“He’s really tall!”
As exciting as those red-carpet moments may be, there’s something about TIFF that lasts much longer, even after most of the movies that debut there end up in regular release. This is the style standard set by many of the actors who spend the first few weeks of September talking up their latest films with hoards of journalists and bloggers.
In fact, while the Sundance Film Festival in Utah may be the place where the rich and famous show off their best winterwear, TIFF is a not-so-obvious showcase for studied casualness featuring guys with great stylists behind them. Their clothes aren’t necessarily outlandish examples from the runway — just the kind of everyman essentials that make even modern-day matinee idols appear more down-to-Earth.
Here’s a sample of what you could steal from this year’s TIFF troupe, even if your name isn’t going above title anytime soon:
The Comfortable Shirt-Sweater
Starring: Andrew Garfield
It hugs the body like a cardigan, but with proper lapels rather than a shawl collar, and stands out even better with a fitted T that pokes out underneath. Garfield, in town to promote Breathe, arrived at TIFF in something that’s perfect for guys with a long, lean frame who want to look professional but leisurely.
The Late Summer Denim
Starring: James Franco
As the daylight hours grow shorter you’ll start to see men’s wardrobes grow darker, too, but this slightly faded shade of blue denim is the one exception. It’s most often found in denim jackets, but here the director of The Disaster Artist demonstrates just how well they can pair with a simple white dress shirt for an understated but classy look. The muddy brown boots help, another staple that’s everywhere at TIFF this week.
The Reimagined Peacoat
Starring: Armie Hammer
There’s a reason Hammer creates a stronger impression in this photo than his Call Me By Your Name co-star, Timothee Chalamet, and it’s not just his height. The olive shade of Hammer’s jacket is not only the autumn answer to this past summer’s bold yellow. The swooping collar gives it the loose elegance you might otherwise expect to find on a 19th-century gentleman’s cape. Anything would look great under this, even Hammer’s sweatshirt but note the jeans in a shade similar to Franco’s, along with the season’s most fashionable boots.
The Balls-To-The-Wall Bomber
Starring: Dave Franco
What is it with these Francos? Bomber jackets never get old, but they can work even better when you add a surprise shade or, in this case, a flower pattern that would look too feminine if the jacket’s silhouette didn’t scream “badass” and “confidence.” Keeping the rest all black reinforces the message.
The Blue-Is-The-Warmest-Color V-Neck
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal
September is when it gets just cold enough that you need that extra something. You can opt for grey or black to hide from the impending change of weather, or you can confront it in a shade of navy that’s dark but somehow almost romantically warm. Gyllenhaal, incidentally, is starring in a film called Stronger, and that’s exactly how this foundational outfit choice makes him look.
All images from Getty for IMDB, courtesy of The IMDb Studio Hosted By The Visa Infinite Lounge