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"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. Hats, canes, umbrellas, pocket watches, handkerchiefs, and cigars are optional...but in some environments, highly recommended. Awesome Anachronistic Apparel
will often overlap.
A Sister Trope
of Simple Yet Opulent
(since these suits can be expensive) and more subtly to The Fashionista
, The Dandy
, Costume Porn
open/close all folders
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 suit and tie.◊ Bonus points for stylin' by usually keeping one hand in his pocket, leaving the other free to straighten his necktie.
- Well, that's his school uniform, but it still counts - especially considering how his sworn rival, Makoto, wears his uniform with slack.
- Lupin III: It's a little harder to see in the older Anime, due to the washed out colours compared to today, but that's not an issue with the recent movies.
- Lupin and Jigen consider suit and tie clothing to be casual wear, no matter the weather. For formal dress, they switch to solid white and black respectively, with accessories to highlight them.
- Goemon considers a traditional hakama to be casual wear, adding traditional jackets for a more formal outing.
- Zenigata also wears suit and tie ensembles, generally only changing his tie and hat colours. The trenchcoat gives the impression of a three piece suit for a cop. Interpol must pay well.
- 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.
- "Looker" or "Handsome" in the japanese version, isn't exactly some random nickname.
- 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.
- Monster: 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.
- Code Geass has a slightly more intricately sharp dressed man in Lelouch vi Britannia's alter-ego, Zero. Fashioned with gold trimmings, his purple tailed suit and cravat are impeccably sharp. That's good, because it draws attention away from the fact that his pants and his shoes are sown together.
- As Director of Karakura General Hospital, Ryuuken Ishida always wears a perfectly pressed suit and tie. Flashbacks reveal that, even as a teenager, "casual-smart" was his most dressed-down style. As he fights in his suits and favours the colour white, he is also a Badass in a Nice Suit and a Man in White, basically covering every non-evil angle.
- Shinji too fights in a suit and tie with Badass Longcoat to boot.
- Many Quincies dress in impeccable military uniforms, but Robert combines the uniform coat with a white suit, making him more sharply dressed than most.
- 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 they look good in them!
- Averted with The Joker in Death Of The Family. He's dressed up in a plain old repairman jumpsuit, and is not even close to looking sharply dressed this time around.
- Sharp Dressed Man might as well be Tony Stark's theme song.
- 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.
- The Homestuck fanfic Dont Name It gives us a perfect example with the smug businesstroll Jade Equius, also known as "Suitquius".
- 1920s silent comedy star Raymond Griffith always wore white tie and tails, usually with a top hat, cape, and walking stick. Even when playing a spy trying to steal a shipment of gold in The Wild West, as he did in Hands Up!.
- In every film he was in, veteran character actor Terry-Thomas would be dressed in a suit with waistcoat and cigarette holder, often with a bowler, cane and occasional monocle as well.
- Peter Guillam from the 2011 version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Most of the important characters really, since they're all government spies, but Guillam's Waistcoat of Style Fanservice tendencies and randomly brightly coloured ties single him out.
- The Godfather: Michael Corleone.
- Bond. James Bond.
- In his first film, Dr. No, Felix Leiter compliments his suit and asks about his tailor.
- Everyone in Inception, especially (and spectacularly) Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Arthur, who wore his three-piece suits sharp enough to kill. Yes, even Ariadne and Mal. Meow.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack Skellington, proving the immediate sex appeal of this trope. Seriously, how many skeletons do you know who are freaking Memetic Sex Gods?
- The Italian Job 1969, The first thing Charlie Croker does upon getting released from jail? Visiting his tailor and his shirtmaker.
- The Adjustment Bureau: All the members of the eponymous organisation wear fifties-style suits, complete with Nice Hats.
- Jimmy gets a nice red suit, presumably with his severance pay, towards the end of Quadrophenia.
- Thanks to a Limited Wardrobe, the titular Blues Brothers wear the same two suits and pairs of sunglasses for the entire movie.
- Subversion, since it's literally the same two suits, but the movie takes place over several days, and we hear a background character remark on how bad they smell.
- Presumably, a standard dress-code Marsellus Wallace requires of his henchmen, given that he, Jules, Vince and the Wolf are all Badass in a Nice Suit.
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children both Turks and Rufus, oh, God, Rufus.
- In the '60s Doctor Who film (starring Peter Cushing) Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., the collaborator (played by Philip Madoc) wears a great-looking off-white trenchcoat, in contrast with the run-down appearance of all the other humans.
- Any character played by Fred Astaire, such as Jerry from Top Hat.
- Loki likes to dress in nice suits whenever he visits Earth in both Thor and The Avengers movie. Oddly enough, these suits served no real purpose as the first time he made himself invisible to the humans and the second time he needed to get to an old scientist in the middle of the fancy party in Stuttgart. Perhaps he just likes Midgardian fashion, or perhaps the filmmakers just like putting Tom Hiddleston in nice suits for the ladies to enjoy!
- Not quite as fanservicey, but Agent Coulson's suits get progressively nicer and sharper with each movie he appears in. When he first shows up in Iron Man, his suit fits poorly to exaggerate his unimpressive comic relief status. By The Avengers, he's proved he's really a Badass Normal / Unfazed Everyman and is decked out in Dolce & Gabanna.
- The Blank version of Oliver Chamberlain from The World's End.
- Richard Gere's clothes in American Gigolo were, for the time, impeccably fashionable, and the movie is credited with establishing Armani's popularity in Hollywood.
- The evil Djinn of Wishmaster looks quite refined while wearing a suit in his human guise, to the point that the clerk selling the suit is clearly floored by him. He rewards her interest by turning her into a mannequin.
- Lawrence Talbot from The Wolfman (2010).
- Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class and in his elderly years is always well-dressed as befitting a professor and principal. Costume designer Louise Mingenbach refers to Professor X as "Mr. Fancy Pants" in the "United Colors of X" featurette on the X2: X-Men United DVD, and Sammy Sheldon has stated in the "Suiting Up" documentary on the First Class Blu-Ray that she made Charles' attire as stylish as she could while keeping him, "honest, real, studious."
- X-Men: First Class:
Azazel is always wearing a black suit.
Riptide, as with every other male member of the Hellfire Club.
- Arsène Lupin: 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 King Killer 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.
- In the Aunt Dimity series, Bill and his father are noted to dress this way, with Willis Sr. retaining his sartorial habits into his retirement.
- FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast is almost always seen in one.
- Nero Wolfe is noted as being an incredibly well-dressed man. He is obsessive about how neat his clothes are. He also sleeps in silk pajamas.
- Mr. Hall and Mr. White are this for Parellity.
- ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" is the trope namer. It was apparently inspired by a movie starring Sean Connery.
- Mod bands have this trope as one of their tenets. Pre-Woodstock The Who is a good example.
- Enforced for The Beatles in their pre-Yellow Submarine days—they all dressed alike, and they all looked impeccable, with matching haircuts, suits and shoes. Left to their own devices, things were a little different; Paul kept it up, but Ringo and George leaned heavily on the dandy side, while John, more often than not, was a raging slob.
- One of main selling points of the New Wave/New Romantic movements starting in the late 70's was the prevalence of slim clothes in contrast to the flaring outfits mainly associated (to this day) with Disco music. This soon overlapped with their embracing of Music Videos.
- 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.
- Green Day during the American Idiot era.
- Steam Powered Giraffe. They were voted "Best Costume - Group" in the 2013 Steampunk Gazette Reader's Choice Awards.
- "And as long as I've got my suit and tie, I'mma leave it all on the floor tonight..."
- As per their shtick as Ministry officials◊, the guys from Ministry of Magic usually perform in dress shirts, waistcoats and Hogwarts (movie) house ties◊.
- Tosin Abasi will wear a suit every so often.
- 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.
- The ultimate example is undoubtedly Vince McMahon himself, who favors dark colors, pinstripes, and wiiiiide shoulder pads that make him look practically hulking (and he's already a fairly large man). In his younger years, he often wore brighter colors, and during the Attitude Era he tended to go with plain black dress shirts and jackets. Popular folklore has it that he even has the crotch of his pants tailored as loose as possible so that his famous "grapefruits" will swing all the more masculinely as he swaggers down to the ring.
- 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 Bockwinkel did for many years in the AWA.
- The Miz has also been known to suit up on occasion, even going so far as to don a 1930s-era waistcoat.
- GURPS 4th Edition has the Fashion Sense Advantage, which grants a +1 on reaction rolls thanks to knowing just what to wear (or how to wear it).
- Aberrant includes the Style skill to represent a character's fashion sense. Empathic clothing grants a bonus.
- In The Golden Apple, Ulysses and the boys have a song about how smart they look dressed up in store-bought suits.
- Backyard Sports: Jorge Garcia.
- 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.
- Metal Gear: A recurring bonus feature in the series: Solid Snake or Big Boss, in a tuxedo.
- Ace Attorney: Everyone's favorite cravat-wearing prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth. Who cares if he wears magenta?
- 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.
- All of the Resident Evil 4 ports give the option to dress Leon in a sexy 1930's mobster suit.
- 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.
- Persona 4 Golden gives us the Agent Suits, male or female, complete with sunglasses to wear in the fog.
- Heavy Rain has Norman Jayden.
- In Team Fortress 2, the Spy is this, despite his work being on a battlefield. He sometimes sarcastically laments his victims getting blood on his suit, and even has a knife in his sleeve named "The Sharp Dresser" (it's a promotional weapon from the Assassin's Creed series).
- In PAYDAY The Heist, Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains wear suits in most Heists, except Counterfeit, where they wear repairman uniforms, Diamond Heist, where they wear bullet proof vests with suit on top, and No Mercy, where they wear Scrubs. In Green Bridge they wear yellow rain ponchos over their suits.
- Katsuya and Baofu in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment are both trying. Katsuya's outfit falls a little too far down into business casual to quite fit, while Baofu's suit should count... except it's a bright gold color, and poorly complemented by his long black hair, leather gloves, and small round sunglasses (and general air of not having showered in a week). He thinks he's pulling it off anyway. Tatsuzou Sudou, Japan's Foreign Minister and a major antagonist, pulls it off a lot better.
- Mass Effect 2 has the Illusive Man, who always, ALWAYS, is well-groomed and keeps his style. Even in 3 when he appears with Reaper tech implanted in his body on the Citadel, at the end of the game.
- Male!Shepard also rocks a futuristic suit (with some white thrown in) when infiltrating a high-society party in the "Stolen Memory" DLC. Naturally, the Female!Shepard wears a Little Black Dress instead. Neither outfit leaves room for concealed weapons, so alternative means of arming oneself are used.
- In The Evil Within both Sebastian, under the Not-So-Badass Longcoat he loses early on, and his partner Joseph have a pretty snazzy character design, which is more apparent on Joseph due to his more slender build and the fact that he doesn't get a smudge of dirt on him throughout the game. Joseph is also never seen without his leather gloves.