Without any attention-desperate splash of color, pattern or off-season white, Justin Timberlake asserted his place as one of the best dressed men in show business at the 89th Academy Awards last night.

Timberlake with wife Jessica Biel. Photo by Scott Feinberg from The Hollywood Reporter.

In a simple, classic and impeccably tailored dinner jacket, Timberlake confirmed that subtlety, nuance and attention to detail trump loud statements and sartorial screaming, particularly for men. With respect to black tie specifically, he was a reminder that the point is not to stand out but, rather, to stand “back” so the lady can enjoy the spotlight.

Timberlake getting ready.

His evening wear was by Tom Ford, with a subdued flair in the texture and pattern of the dinner jacket. The scale and proportion of his bow tie, shirt collar and peak lapels were perfect. Other welcome flourishes were the turn-back cuffs on the jacket – something one doesn’t see often with modern men’s formalwear – and a cummerbund, which helps conceal shirt white below the jacket button. Very nice touches. If there was one irregularity (and I’m splitting hairs here), it was a slight overexposure of shirt cuff, which is a deliberate Tom Ford trademark and totally forgivable.

JT looked fantastic. And I love him even more for validating one of my own adages: Understated is underrated. Bravo.