By Christopher Luu
Updated 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.

Credit: MARK RALSTON/Getty Images

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.

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.