Sterling K. Brown attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Sterling K. Brown attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 23, 2019 7:45 am

There was a time when awards season meant penguin suits as far as the eye could see. But as trends evolve and men are encouraged to experiment on the red carpet (or the purple carpet, as it inexplicably was this year), we’re seeing more fascinating looks, including prints, interesting fabrics and, thank God, some color.

This year’s Emmys didn’t disappoint on those fronts. We’ve compiled some of the most eye-catching and intriguing outfits from men at the event — both the best and the, uh, best attempts — below.

Sterling K. Brown

The This Is Us star shakes off his character Randall’s suburban-dad style and steps it up whenever he can on the red carpet, and this year’s Emmys were no different. He looked absolutely dapper in a red Brioni jacket, matching bowtie and Christian Louboutin shoes.

Charlie Barnett

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

He had a star-making turn on Russian Doll, so it makes sense, we suppose, that Charlie Barnett sported literal stars with a boldly printed forest green Ports 1961 suit. Paired with boots by Giuseppe Zanotti, the suit is unique but somehow just the right amount of subtle.

James Van Der Beek

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

You either love or hate this James Van Der Beek outfit, and how you feel about it probably goes hand-in-hand with how you feel about fuzzy fabrics. If you, like George Costanza, would drape yourself in velvet if it were socially acceptable, Van Der Beek’s salmon-colored Brioni crushed-velvet jacket and suede Christian Louboutin loafers probably do it for you. But to our taste, the shoes were fighting for attention; it’s a little too much for one look.

Chris Sullivan

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Chris Sullivan has a history of taking big swings on the red carpet, and while he’s had plenty of misses, this green-and-grey plaid suit with a wide white peak lapel was a home run. Note that the green accents in his glasses match the suit.

Billy Porter

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Is it even an awards show if Billy Porter isn’t on the red carpet turning heads? The Pose star’s latest jaw-dropper included a pinstriped suit by Michael Kors Collection featuring 130,000 mini crystals, a statement hat by Stephen Jones Millinery, Rick Owens platform heels and $55,000 of Oscar Heyman jewels.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

If you can’t win an Emmy, dress like an Emmy. The Game of Thrones star looked like a million bucks in his golden Dolce & Gabbana dinner jacket and Montblanc cufflinks.

Michael K. Williams

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

If anyone ever tries to tell you black and brown don’t go together again, kindly show them this picture of Michael K. Williams absolutely killing it with a black shirt and tie and an elegant brown tux. It’s the burnished penny loafers — to go with the leather lapels — that really kicks this fit into overdrive, though.

Sacha Baron Cohen

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Stay with us on this one: there’s something about Sacha Baron Cohen’s custom double breasted ISAIA tux here that makes him look like a waiter in a murder mystery who just knowingly handed off a plate of poisoned food to someone. And yet … we don’t completely hate it? The boutonnière is nice, and we’re all for a pop of color.

Sam Richardson

(Photo by Valerie Macon / AFP)

Richard Splett could never, but Veep‘s Sam Richardson absolutely pulls off this indigo print jacket. The white shirt and pocket square provide some nice contrast, and while his bow tie is a little too small for our liking, the overall look works.

Kit Harington

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Turns out ties are for chumps. Who knew?

William Jackson Harper

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

At first glance, The Good Place‘s William Jackson Harper appears to be sporting a pretty standard (albeit incredibly sharp) maroon tuxedo. But look a little closer, and you’ll see that Charlie Barnett wasn’t the only guy going with a subtle print on the red carpet this year — those are polka dots, ladies and gentlemen.