Which Late-Night Host Has the Best Quarantine Style?
Shooting from home has given the men of late night room to experiment — for better or worse
The world of late-night television looks a little different these days. The crowded live audiences of yesteryear feel like a fond memory at this point; instead, most of our hosts are coming to us live from their homes, or in a few cases more recently, empty studios. With these new working conditions has come new working attire — some have foregone suits for more casual button-ups, others have held steadfast to their traditional late-night looks, except paired with longer hair and more lax grooming regiments. Some have made the transition seamlessly; others not so much. Some have made style decisions that they should leave in quarantine, and others have adapted their looks in ways that they should incorporate into their mainstay wardrobes when things return to normal.
Without further ado, here is our full breakdown of the men of late night and their quarantine style.
Stephen … Stephen, Stephen. We need to talk.
It’s not a secret that I wasn’t in approval of Colbert’s attire pre-pandemic. His suits, in my expert opinion, are too tight and too slim cut. They’re the suits of a much younger and trimmer and trendier man. Oddly enough, his quarantine look has gone very much in the other direction. Colbert, who had been joining us every night from home until recently returning to an empty office fitted to look like a studio at 30 Rock, makes some very interesting quarantine style choices. Let’s start with the good: Colbert’s quarantine hair. He’s shirked his slicked-back, tidy do for a more bohemian salt-and-pepper look and I am 100% here for it. Like his too-slim suits, Colbert’s neatly coiffed hair made him look more like a finance bro than a well-styled New York TV host, and his new, looser locks make him look more at ease. The few streaks of grey peeking through give him a dignified sexiness that he lacked before, and I would firmly suggest he skip dying altogether to cash in on his increasing capital as an attractive older man.
Now, for the bad. Colbert has for some ungodly reason opted for long-sleeve, solid-color shirts as his go to quarantine look. He has them in a variety of unsavory colors, like earthy green tones and maroons that look like he got them off the sale rack of his local suburban department store. The fabric comes off almost iridescent on camera, which cheapens the look even further. My recommendation for Stephen when he returns to a studio audience would be to leave his hair longer, let the grays come out, and burn every shirt he’s worn on air since quarantine started.
As far as I’m concerned Seth Meyers carries the mantle of best quarantine transformation. Pre-quarantine, Meyers’s suits fit relatively well but I honestly had completely tired of his skinny ties. He’s a nice-looking guy, but he has an exceptionally narrow, angular face, and the width of the ties only accentuated that, making him look more like a caricature of himself than a real human man. In quarantine, Meyers has been wearing mostly casual shirts in a variety of simple colors and patterns. Most have a button-down collar, which is the correct choice for going sans jacket, and they all fit him comfortably. Like Colbert, Meyers has also opted to lean into the quarantine hair, letting his grow, also to his benefit. His close cut of pre-quarantine days did the same thing to his head that his tie did to his face shape; it elongated it, harshening his features. The longer, softer do makes him look downright handsome, to the point where a few months ago when I was watching I paused the show and said out loud, “Wait, Seth Meyers is really good looking???” My recommendation for Meyers going forward would be, like Colbert, to keep the longer locks, and when it’s time to go back to a suit and tie, forget skinny ties even exist.
I hate Jimmy Kimmel’s go-to black suit, so I was hoping that quarantine would bring good tidings for his fashion, but alas, I do not have such news to report. It’s not that Kimmel has made any egregious fashion errors — he’s sometimes opted for the suit, sometimes for a basic button-down — it’s that he really hasn’t stood out in any way at all. His choice of button-down far surpasses Colbert, and he’s let the salt and pepper come in more in his beard, but he also occasionally wears a baseball hat, which makes me yell “Who raised you?” at the TV every single time. It is nice to know he owns something other than those heinous Reservoir Dog wannabe suits though, so my suggestion to him after this is all said and done would be to mix it up a little and try a navy or gray suit every once in a while.
Fallon is another one who has pretty adeptly made the transition to quarantine style; before he was reporting from home, Fallon’s suits were fine at best. They were sometimes a cut too slim or too modern for my tastes, but not as egregiously as Colbert’s. These days he’s sporting a much more diverse variety of casual looks than his colleagues and so I give him extra points for versatility. He also has an impressive collection of sweaters which all make him look put together without looking stuffy or out of sorts. He knows his color palette, usually opting for something in the blue family, and he does a good job layering sweaters, cardigans and shirts so they look cohesive without being too matchy matchy. He’s also let his hair get a little on the long sides, which again, I fully endorse. Lately, coming to us from an empty studio audience, he appears slightly more dressed up, layering button-downs with sweater shirts or jackets, and I personally really love this less traditional look for late night. When his audience is filled with smiling, vaccinated faces once again, I’d recommend he continue to play with that layering, trying different sweater and jacket combinations every once in a while to mix up the standard late-night suit.
Full disclosure, John Oliver is probably my number one late-night crush, which has only worsened since he has gained some Twitter clout for having the perfect nose to swipe like a credit card, as Cardi B might say. He’s also arguably the best dressed man in late night, a title he held long before late night hosts were recording their shows in weird corners of their homes. He’s one of the few men I approve of in a slim fit suit and he (or whoever dresses him) has an amazing sixth sense for picking the perfect blue for his suit, as well as an always spot-on tie. Oliver is one of the few late-night hosts whose wardrobe has remained largely unchanged since quarantine started — he’s still wearing those well fitted and well styled suits every week, and I think it’s a smart choice since he’s also hosting his show in front of a blank background as opposed to a more casual home setting. And yes, even his longer quarantine hair looks cute, though his hair before was also well suited to his face. I have no notes for Oliver and would simply like to tell him to keep up the good work.
Bill Maher is the other one who’s opted to keep in line with his pre-quarantine look, wearing a suit and tie every week on his show. Maher, like Oliver, is also pretty consistently well dressed — his suits are cut well; not too slim nor too boxy, and his stylist occasionally opts for a more whimsical pattern on his tie, which I think keeps the whole look from appearing stale or rote. Maher is filming from an outdoor space, and I think it would have been nice to see him mix it up a little; maybe a crewneck black sweater and dark jeans, or even a nice tee with a sweater like Fallon. But when he goes back to the studio, he’ll have little to adjust.
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