By Christopher Luu
Feb 24, 2019 @ 9:15 pm

The ladies may get the most attention when it comes to awards show fashion, but Mahershala Ali is stealing a little bit of the spotlight thanks to one very specific accessory. Tonight at the Oscars, the Green Book actor arrived in a classic tux with a twist. Instead of a bow tie, his shirt had a Mandarin collar. But that wasn't the only curveball. He topped off his Academy Awards ensemble with a black cap — or, as milliner Gigi Burris describes it, a "fedora crown."

Hats are a rare occurrence on any red carpet (unless you're J. Lo), so Ali's cap — the unisex Sharina Cap by Gigi Burris, $350 at — was a standout. It looks pretty basic, like something anyone could toss on when temps drop — note that the Oscars happened during L.A.'s mild winter, where things were in the mid-60s. The everyman accessory was definitely a head-scratching option, especially for an Oscar winner.


Fans immediately wondered if there was something going on with the actor's head. GQ even called it out as what may be the very first red-carpet beanie, ever. 

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One astute Twitter user also noticed a similarity between Ali's look and Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in the 1992 film.

However, Ali's been a longtime advocate of all sorts of head coverings, wearing beanies to his looks on many occasions. He attended a Hollywood Reporter dinner back in 2017 with a beanie pulled tight to his scalp. He's also worn fedoras and newsboy caps to press junkets and even events like Comic-Con. What's he hiding under there?

But there could be a simpler explanation that doesn't involve Gretchen Wieners levels of follicular secrecy. Ali could be growing out his hair for a new role or looking for a new style. Just about anyone can relate to the awkward between-styles phase of a cut and there's really no easier way to deal with bad hair days than pulling on a hat.