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Style shrinks: Our experts analyse Robert Downey Jr's elementary errors


The hair

Gemma Hayward: My detective skills tell me that Mr Downey Jr (pictured here at the Rome premiere of the new Sherlock Holmes film) dyes his mane a shade of rich mahogany, as it matches his tie rather than his beard.

Hugh Montgomery: With every Tom, Dick and Metro reader doing the facial hair thing in 2011, it's increasingly difficult to make the beard look distingué. We'd happily endure a rash for this goatee, however, with its just-rough-enough amount of grizzle and delectable salt-and-pepper shading.

The tie

Gemma: With such quirky footwear, it's a shame that Downey Jr has gone for such a conservative tie. Perhaps it's to co-ordinate with the hair again... Elementary, my dear Watson.

Hugh: Apologies, I am distracted from musing on this acceptable tie by Downey Jr's curious Travis Bickle-evoking "You talking to me?" gesticulation. The below-par blockbusters getting to you, dear sir?

The suit

Gemma: The diagonal placement and excess of material surrounding the pockets aside, it's a perfectly good suit. But accessories maketh the man and his choice of these has overpowered the look.

Hugh: Downey Jr may be the very model of a modern major-thespian these days, but this smart-casual suit keeps some of the old roué alive. Love the steel blue, love the hint of dishevelment, though any male star who doesn't opt for a tux or a kilt is already winning in our book.

The shoes

Gemma: Is his impending baby a little boy and he's just come from painting the nursery? How else could he explain these paint-dipped toes?

Hugh: The trainers/suit combo should be a no-no, but look! He's colour-co-ordinated. Bless, it's as strangely endearing as the time he mauled Joni Mitchell in Ally McBeal.