Do President’s have stylists? They must. No big risks are ever taken. Especially on inauguration day, so someone has to be keeping them all in line. And that’s not a bad thing. These are people with access to more nuclear power than any one or thing this side of the sun (Vlad Putin may be another exception… one can’t be totally sure). No need to cause an international incident with a poor shirt or tie color choice.
But what if a few minor tweaks were made on inauguration day? Nothing too crazy. Just something slightly different than the standard Presidential style which has dominated these last few decades. A few clothing adjustments for taking the oath of office, then walking the parade route after. Your take & suggestions are welcome in the comments.
Dress Boots > Dress Shoes
Suggestion: Allen Edmonds Fifth Street – $247.00 ($250)
Washington D.C. can be frigid on inauguration day. The great thing about the Fifth Street, is that they’re just as sleek and smooth as a dress shoe, and you can wear some thicker wool socks inside and no one knows the difference. A little more ankle support for the parade too. Plus, it’ll get the office back in the good graces of the Allen Edmonds CEO (because, y’know, I’m sure whoever is President would be concerned with that).
Medium Grey Suit (Ticket Pocket a plus) > Super Dark Suit
The Suggestion (& splurge): SuitSupply Sienna in Grey – $639.00. Or the more affordable: J. Crew Factory Thompson Marled Suit Jacket & Matching Pant – $236.00
Would it be a crime to lighten up the suit shade just a touch? Seems like Presidents are stuck with either black, or a navy or charcoal that’s so dark it LOOKS black. This one hits a midpoint between uber-dark and summer light. Plus the ticket pocket is a nice place to stash those nuclear launch codes. If this feels just a little too light (and/or heavy on the checking account) the 80% wool / 20% poly J. Crew Factory Thompson is sitting at a plenty reasonable $236 right now. No ticket pocket on that one, but the slightly flecked, marled fabric gives it a little more depth than the standard, Presidential, saturated solid charcoal, black, or navy.
Made in the USA semi-spread > Imported Point Collar
The Suggestion: ratio/clothing white classic pinpoint – $89.00
God forbid any President of the United States not wear a lapel flag pin, or, a wardrobe completely made in the United States from head to toe. At least this shirt matches the boots for country of origin. That, and thanks to their precise fitting technique, just enough cuff will show and the collar will fit just right. An investment, but one of the best investments out there. A semi spread shakes up the too-common point collar seen in D.C.
Purple Tie > Red or Blue Tie
The Suggestion: Hugo Boss Tonal Weave Purple Tie – $42.00
Red States. Blue States. Red ties or Blue ties. Y’know what’s reasonable, professional, and interesting without screaming its head off? Purple. Red + Blue = Purple. It’s the bipartisan shade. And the tonal texture on this one keeps it out of that Who Wants to be a Millionaire Regis-solid-shiny territory. 3″ wide hits the sweet spot. Made in Italy. Part of the 40% off one item sale LastCall has going on. Now, let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
Pocket Square > No Pocket Square
The Suggestion: Indochino Grey w/ Purple Stitching Pocket Square – $29.00
The big formal stuff happens later on in the night, so for the daytime swearing in, why not throw a little subtle color at your pocket? Thirty bucks isn’t cheap for a pocket square by any stretch, but the grey linen with purple piping is awfully unique… in a good way.
Above the Knee Topcoat > Below the Knee Topcoat
The Suggestion: Massimo Duti Wool/Cashmere – $299 ($565), or J. Crew Mayfair Topcoat w/ Thinsulate- $198 (check in store for more sizes?), Indochino – $349.00, or Bonobos – $245 w/ JACKFROST30
A below the knee topcoat flies in the face of the rule of thirds. The wearer ends up looking like they were rolled up in an area rug, then shoved out the door with buttons sewn on the front. Opt for something that hits above the knee. And black? Well… it’s clean and professional. Not the most stylish. But having the President walk down the parade route in some camel colored or bold plaid number might be too flashy.
Camel Scarf for the Parade > No Scarf
The Suggestion: Amicale Cashmere Scarf – $49.00 ($168)
Just a bit of out-of-the-norm color here. A warm camel color like this is pretty dashing up against a dark overcoat. Plus, it’s cashmere, so it’ll help keep the President warm. William Henry Harrison could have used one.
Orient Explorer Dual Time > Jorg Gray Chrono
The Suggestion: Orient Explorer Automatic – $455 w/ code WINTER2012
Our current president was given the Jorg Gray Chrono back in 2007 with a custom Secret Service logo in place of the brand name under 12 o’clock. And in comparison to other world leader’s timepieces, that one is downright cheap. The Orient costs a bit more (and a hefty $455 for most of us), but it’s nails if you like the busier dress watch thing. In-house automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve. The dual time function can help keep track of what time it is in D.C. when abroad. Power-reserve indicator at the top with a date subdial at 6 o’clock. Slide-rule around the outside. Looks incredible on a black band.
Bold Style Red Herring > Everyone is too-focused on what the President wore
The Suggestion: Bring Aretha Back with some more crazy head-wear.
The President has enough on the mind. So, to prevent the Fashion Police from running wild all over the Commander in Chief’s wardrobe, insert a can’t-miss fashion distraction into the event.
Note: These alternatives are offered for ANY President taking the oath, not just our current President. Seems like all the lawmakers in D.C. are in that dark suit, red/blue tie rut. Thoughts from you on these alternatives? Have other alternatives to the alternatives? Leave it all (except politics) in the comments below. Top Photo Credit