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File:Suitup 324.jpg

Clean shirt, new shoes,

And I don't know where I am goin' to.

Silk suit, black tie,

I don't need a reason why.

They come a-runnin' just as fast as they can,

'Cause every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man.
ZZ Top, "Sharp Dressed Man"

"Clothes make the man" is this guy's motto. Impeccably groomed but never a slave to fashion, the Sharp-Dressed Man is quite simply a guy dressed to the nines, over whom the ladies in the audience will undoubtedly swoon.

A three-piece-suit (that is, one including a Waistcoat of Style) is the usual embodiment of this trope, but more imaginative outfits can qualify as well. Awesome Anachronistic Apparel will often overlap.

A more subtle Sister Trope of The Fashionista, The Dandy, and Costume Porn.

Super-Trope to:

Compare Hot Chick in a Badass Suit (the female version), Bifauxnen.

Examples of Sharp-Dressed Man include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Big O: Roger Smith. Jason Beck actually manages to look good in gold suits, but his oft ridiculous hairdos and Laughably Evil antics tend to kill the effects of this trope. Alex Rosewater actually doesn't look too bad in a white business suit, though he himself doesn't really look as good as his own outfit.
  • El Hazard's would-be ruler, Katsuhiko Jinnai, is never seen without his school uniform: a snappy suit and tie. Bonus points for stylin' by usually keeping one hand in his pocket, leaving the other free to straighten his necktie.
  • Lupin III: Lupin and Jigen Daisuke. Oddly enough, while both of these men dress well, Lupin is too much of a Handsome Lech to pull it off and Jigen's fangirls are all in the audience as opposed to the Lupin-verse. Either that or they want to kill him. Or they die. The Gunslinger's got no luck with women...
  • Baccano: Being set in 1930's Gangsterland, what were the chances that the show wouldn't use this trope like a horribly addictive drug?
  • Pokémon: Giovanni. And Cilan. Don't forget Riley and Steven Stone!
    • Also, Maxie, albeit with a specially-made uniform. Archie also has a nice suit.
  • Shota example: Makube Rokuro from Tezuka's Vampires. He keeps the look as he gets older. He appears as an Expy in works like Black Jack.
  • Black Jack: Dr. Black Jack.
  • Sailor Moon: Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask has four different girls and several men after him, and even when not in Tuxedo Mask form he wears well-tailored jackets.
  • Alucard from Hellsing, whose outfit is like the awesome love child of Vash the Stampede (lampshaded by the author himself in his end-of-tankobon notes) and Carmen Sandiego.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: Any of the suits worn by Takemichi or his teacher Gateau.
  • Chrono Crusade is a show set in the Roaring Twenties, so of course most of its men are dressed in classy suits.
  • The tenth movie of One Piece didn't really need to put everyone in classy suits. Was it amazingly awesome? Yes.
    • Well, about the tenth movie, there was a dresscode.
    • Sanji in general. Observe.
    • Also, high ranking Marines tend to wear pretty badass suits. The admirals and Garp in particular.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami pulls this off pretty well, when he feels like it for work. He tends towards smart casual otherwise.
  • The most casual thing you ever see Johan Liebert wear is a grey sweater, which he wears after getting out of the hospital following a massive Villainous BSOD.
    • There was also that cute clubbing dress with the magic make-you-shorter heels. And the wig, obviously. Despite the heels, it was a pretty casual outfit.
  • Darker Than Black: November 11 is always either impeccably dressed or naked as a jaybird.
  • In Durarara, Shizuo's inexplicable inability to wear anything other than impeccably tailored bartender suits is something of a running gag.
    • He was given several dozen copies of the outfit by his rich younger brother who hoped that it would encourage him to keep his current job for longer than few weeks. It didn't work, but Shizuo keeps wearing the suits out of respect for him.
  • Soul Eater gives us Death The Kid, son of the Grim Reaper, who is a teenager in a perfectly symmetrical suit.
  • Michio Yuki and Detective Meguro from MW.


Comic Books

  • Batman: Being a celebrity and the CEO of a huge, wealthy company, Bruce Wayne tends to wear suits a lot in his "day" persona. So do Tim Drake and Dick Grayson on occasion, and my word do they look good in them!


Fan Fiction

  • In the Harry/Draco slash fanfiction, Big Dick, Come Quick, both Harry and Draco are quite partial to wearing designer suits. Be it Boateng, Hugo Boss, or Armani, they practically have it all since they're rich, famous, and ridiculously handsome.
  • The title character of The Harmon Verse, Jack Harmon, lives and breaths this trope.


Film


Literature

  • Arsène Lupin: Perhaps Lupin picked up his dress sense from his grandad; before his name is given in Arsène Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes, he's referred to as 'the well-dressed young gentleman'.
  • Circle of Magic: Niklaren Goldeye. He's a male character in a work by Tamora Pierce, so natural Author Appeal, and a bit of a dandy. Briar might count too, simply because his foster-sister Sandry, an avid seamstress, wouldn't allow him to leave the house in any other mode of dress.
  • Howl in Howl's Moving Castle, even before one of his suits gets (accidentally) enchanted by Sophie.
  • Book 2 of "The Kingkiller Chronicle" gives us this gem from Count Threpe: "know a lady by her manner, a man by his cloth." when advising Kvothe to stay fashionable abroad.
  • The Great Gatsby.
  • In Time Scout It turns out Malcolm's quietly a clothes horse. His favorite persona for Victorian London is as an eccentric globe-trotting gentleman and he has to keep up with changing styles. Contrast Ancient Rome, where he's usually a collared slave, which is how he was dressed in the opening.
  • Sherlock Holmes was always considered this and, contrary to the stereotype, would never commit such an embarrassing fashion faux pas as to wear an outfit for the countryside, a deerstalker and an inverness cape, in the city.


Live-Action TV

  • Project Runway: Tim Gunn is quite the (gay) silver fox in his go-to shirt and tie combo.
  • In The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert's suits are a major part of his personality. In one sketch, he reveals that beneath his suit is another suit.
    • In other segments, he's had suits tailored for specific purposes, like one with a hoodie for his rap battle against Michael Steele.
  • Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother pretty much lives and breathes this trope. He even wears suit pajamas in case easy women come by in the middle of the night. He swaps to more comfortable and much less stylish nightwear and is proven to have been right the first time that very night.
  • Kyle Barker in Living Single.
  • Neal Caffrey in White Collar.
  • Face from The A-Team is always impeccably dressed, a characteristics of most of actor Dirk Benedict's characters.
  • Remington Steele: Pierce Brosnan's titular character.
  • Spoofed with Cat in Red Dwarf who goes to absurd lengths to protect his clothes, even above protecting himself and others from physical harm.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: I say, most of the male cast. In Bertie's case it's only by Jeeves' best efforts.
  • Torchwood:
    • Jack in his "period military."
    • Ianto Jones.

  Jack: "Also looks good in a suit."

  • Doctor Who
    • Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor thinks he's this, but looks more Adorkable than anything else. In real life though, his off-beat clothes have been endlessly copied by young men around the world (especially the bow tie).
    • David Tennant as The Tenth Doctor.
    • Paul McGann as the Eighth. Yow.
    • The Silence.
    • And from the old series: The Count Scarlioni wears a three-piece cream linen suit, a turquoise cravat, and a black shirt (so we know he's evil).
  • Patrick Jane in The Mentalist. Subverted somewhat, in that while Jane is only ever seen in his hallmark three-piece suit, his curls can get unruly, the suit itself is somewhat rumpled, and his shoes are very worn.
  • Dan Fielding of Night Court, who always seemed to wear tight-fitting double breasted suits. Judge Harry Stone also usually dressed well (suits and fedoras), if a little dated.
  • Burn Notice: When not running a job, Michael seems to prefer wearing Armani suits.

  Bly: "For a tough guy, you sure dress like an Easter egg."

    • Or Michael himself:

 Michael, selling his cover to the sniper pointing a rifle at him: See this? It's Armani. Cops don't fit Armani.

  • Very characteristic of 70's detective shows. See Kojak, Hawaii Five-O, and The Rockford Files.
  • As of season three of Gossip Girl, Chuck Bass is never seen in anything but suits (except occasionally when he's in pyjamas).
  • Criminal Minds: Agent Aaron Hotchner is almost always seen wearing a suit and tie. And damn does he look fine when he does.
  • Firefly: Simon Tam is always the best-dressed member of the crew (except for Inara). My word, but he does look nice in a waistcoat.
  • NCIS: Tony DiNozzo. Go check his closet if you don't believe it.
  • Smallville: Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow is very sharp-dressed when he's not in his Superhero uniform. So's Clark after he starts working at the Daily Planet. For the Man of Wealth and Taste/ Badass in a Nice Suit variant, we have Lex Luthor, Lionel Luthor, Earth-2 Clark, and Alexander.
  • Sherlock: While all the characters are dressed well, I have to say the cut on Benedict Cumberbatch's suits and coat for Sherlock is phenomenal. (Lestrade also looks quite fine.)
    • Lampshaded in-universe by both Sherlock and John, who acknowledge the coolness-conferring powers of the coat - it's one of Sherlock's stated reasons why he looks taller in pictures.
    • Sherlock's wardrobe has become so popular that people have begun asking after it in clothing shops. Journalist Alexis Petridis comments, "So it is that Britain's latest men's style icon is a fictional asexual sociopath first seen onscreen hitting a corpse with a stick. Surely not even the great detective himself could have deduced that was going to happen."
  • Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1. There is a reason why a music video was done to this song.
    • There's also an episode of Stargate Atlantis where John and Ronon wear suits to Sheppard's dad's funeral. Yowza!
  • When out of uniform Walker from Dads Army was always dressed in an impeccably tailored suit in keeping with his "profession" as a high class black-marketeer.
  • Derren Brown has a fairly distinctive three-piece, with no-tie look that he likes. Combined with his trademark goatee, and it might as well be a uniform.
  • President Bates of Fifteen Love, something that the school doctor definitely noticed.
  • Elijah on The Vampire Diaries.
  • Harvey Specter on Suits. Three-piece suits are an abundance on that show, a fact that is often commented on.
  • Jimmy Carr
  • Niles Crane from Frasier. Frasier too, (though less strikingly), but he at least changes when he goes home, unlike his brother. Could lead one to presume Maris insisted Niles stay dressed to the nines while he was in her sight.
  • Earth: Final Conflict's Ronald Sandoval.
  • Don Draper. 'nuff said.


Music

  • ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" is the trope namer.
  • Robert Palmer was almost always seen in a suit on stage or in music videos. He even got voted best dressed man of the 80s and is known as the "Gentleman of Rock & Roll" or "The James Bond of Rock" because of his penchant for Armani.
  • This is more or less Franz Ferdinand's M.O. when it comes to costumes. Of course, these get into various states of disarray as a show goes on.
  • Nick Cave: Is rarely seen not wearing a suit.
  • Most of the members of The World/Inferno Friendship Society could qualify as this, but none more so than Jack Terricloth.
  • British Blackened Death Metal band Akercocke are rarely seen without their snazzy, turn-of-the-century style suits, sometimes with sharp facial hair to match. Check this out for size, rookies
  • David Bowie's stage wardrobe has invoked this more than once:
    • The Thin White Duke, the persona he created for Station to Station (1976), dressed this way; this was partially inspired by the elegant suits he wore in several scenes of the film The Man Who Fell to Earth.
    • 1983's Serious Moonlight Tour had him dress in natty pastel suits.
    • 1990's Sound+Vision Tour featured black-and-white suits.
  • Alexander Rybak is, at his most informal, wearing a vest and slacks. Helps that he's Adorkable as all hell.


Professional Wrestling

  • Ur-Example is Ric Flair, especially during his title reigns in the 80's and as leader of the Four Horsemen. He still manages to look every bit as put-together and "Slick Ric" now, though. And the rest of the Horsemen aren't too shabby themselves, especially during their WCW reformation, walking around in tuxedos.
  • Evolution, as befits an Expy of the Four Horsemen (even including Ric Flair).
  • Chris Jericho has been rather fond of these since his most recent Heel Face Turn. Of course he fully realizes (and plays up) that they do in fact make him look like a super villain. The extraneous use of unnecessarily complicated words certainly doesn't help. Jericho is basically using the same gimmick that Nick Bockwinkle did for many years in the AWA.


Theatre

  • In The Golden Apple, Ulysses and the boys have a song about how smart they look dressed up in store-bought suits.


Video Games

  • Ace Attorney:
    • Everyones favorite cravat wearing prosecuter, Miles Edgeworth. Who cares if he wears wine red.
    • Just about all the guys in suits (except probably Winston Payne, who wears bright green sometimes) could count here.
  • Art of Fighting has a few of these; most notably: italian stallion Robert Garcia, who's always dressed to the nines. There's also series antagonist, Mr. Big, who comes complete with A Lady on Each Arm.
  • Backyard Sports: Jorge Garcia.
  • Castlevania: The other Alucard, who is edging in on The Dandy. In the 18th century he wears period-appropriate finery in black with white and gold trimmings, topped with a red-lined black cloak; in the near future, his Paper-Thin Disguise consists of a perfectly tailored double-breasted suit, still black, with a blood-red pocket square.
  • Cyberswine: Say what you will about Vice-President Bryce Gets, but never let it be said that he did not wear a nice suit.
  • Heavy Rain has Norman Jayden.
  • Metal Gear: A recurring bonus feature in the series: Solid Snake or Big Boss, in a tuxedo.
  • Persona 3 Portable allows the purchase of tuxedo armor for all the guys (including Ken but, oddly, not the male main character), allowing either lead to exterminate Shadows (and various other evil) with a team full of Badasses In Nice Suits.
  • All of the Resident Evil 4 ports give the option to dress Leon in a sexy 1930's mobster suit.


Webcomics


Web Original


Western Animation

  • Archer lives and breathes this trope as part of his James Bond lifestyle. He is always sharply dressed unless Woodhouse is not available to pick his wardrobe. Even his stealth mission gear is stylish.

 Archer: I was the first one to recognize the tactical potential of the turtleneck.

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