Google "mafoofan Rubinacci dinner jacket" to see what a 4x1 shawl can do for someone with a figure much farther away from the classical ideal than Hanks's. Or look at what Bogart's 4x1 shawl in Casablanca does for him, even though he was quite short. Now imagine them in a two-to-button shawl like the one you show from BTG. You will see that they were wise to choose 4x1.
I didn't say that the 6x2 shawl made Hanks look bad. Any well-tailored coat with a classical silhouette on a man with a good figure will look good. I said that the coat did not make him look as good as a 4x1 would have. Hanks does look good in his coat. But in a 4x1 shawl as well tailored as that, he would have looked great.
Your examples cited are pretty flawed IMO.
Using as examples how 4x1s look on 2 shorter guys (5'8" and probably 5'3"), and then extrapolating to guesstimate how a 4x1 might look vs a 6x2 on 6'1" Hanks is decidedly stacking the deck  in your favour.
Also, the 4x1s...
...acheive their effect on these shorter men by shifting the buttoning point down to lengthen the sweep of the lapel to make them look taller.
Doesn't make sense in my mind's eye to do that for the non-vertically challenged Hanks. You're 'fixing' an imaginary problem created in your own head.
Just my 0.02, and all IMO of course.
Edited by apropos - 2/28/12 at 11:55am