Men hear a lot about rules when it comes it dressing. Generally, you should follow them.
Unless you know what you're doing — then you can do whatever you want.
Take as an example Mahershala Ali, who on Sunday won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in the best picture-winning "Moonlight."
Ali wore an all-black Ermenegildo Zegna Couture tux, black shirt, and black bow tie, with black shoes. The pocket square: a white and black pattern.
According to the rules, Ali should look like a disaster, but he doesn't. Far from it.
Not only does Ali stand out on the red carpet's sea of blue and black, but he's definitely among the best-dressed men attending the awards.
How does Ali do it? The answer is, as you may have suspected: carefully.
None of the parts of his ensemble is the same texture. Move in closer, and you realize that there are contrasting micro patterns embedded into each piece to further separate them from each other.
The blacks aren't the same shade, but they're not so different as to distract the eye. Accessories like the pocket square, silver jewelry, and two-tone shirt buttons serve to give the outfit the depth that a monochrome tuxedo definitely needs.
Make no mistake: this is an expert-level ensemble. It's definitely harder to pull this off than a normal tuxedo, but Ali is able to do it precisely because he knows the rules — and the exact way to break them in order to create something beautiful.