Where Did the Ties Go at the 2024 Oscars?

96th annual academy awards arrivals
Where Did the Ties Go at the 2024 Oscars?John Shearer - Getty Images

Tonight, my friends, has been a very good night for throwing both arms up in a victorious gesture while not wearing a tie. Take, for instance, the man you see above. Robert Downey Jr. took home the best supporting actor Oscar this evening for his performance in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. In one crucial scene in the film, Downey, playing Oppie's rival Lewis Strauss in full "political machination" mode, sits at a table full of men discussing the nuclear future of the United States. He's in a tux, but he's ditched the tie. He's putting in the work and can't be fettered by accessories. And Downey himself seems to have taken a page from the character's book this evening, accepting his award sans tie and throwing those arms up in a well deserved moment of celebration.

96th academy awards live telecast
Myung J. Chun - Getty Images

But wait, what's that around his neck? My closest guess? A bolo tie. Isn't that a tie? Semantically, you might be right! But you know that's not what we're talking about here. When it comes to awards shows, we expect guys to roll up in bow ties, or, failing that, proper neckties. But tonight, there was an unmissable contingent of dudes who declined. Which brings us to the next major player to throw his arms up and leave his neck bare.

ryan gosling performs im just ken
PATRICK T. FALLON - Getty Images

Yup. The Gos skipped the tie. And he didn't do it just for his performance of "I'm Just Ken." Gosling's red-carpet look featured a lot of vibes, some strategic embellishment, a necklace, and a healthy serving of clavicle—but no tie. And even if RDJ weren't there, he wouldn't have been alone. Bradley Cooper, in custom Louis Vuitton, went with a more traditional—but no less tie-less—look:

96th annual academy awards arrivals
John Shearer - Getty Images

And then there was Mark Ruffalo, who also opted for a crisp, white, collared shirt but decided that now was not the time to engage in any sort of tie-based tomfoolery:

96th academy awards
Jason Armond - Getty Images

There were others, I'm sure. But this is a quartet of some of the biggest names in acting, all skipping the tie in favor of something—anything—else. Is it a harbinger of things to come? Well, I hope not. While the option to skip the neckwear is welcome one, we'd all be a little bit poorer if the tie—bow, straight, not bolo—were to drop out of the menswear lexicon entirely. Much like the decision not to wear one, it's a way to bring personality and a point of view to a look. And even as we all expand our ideas of what it means to get dressed in this day and age, the last thing we should do is consign an opportunity to express oneself to the dustbin of history.

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