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Now that the frenzy over Michelle Obama's inauguration fashion choices has died down, let's turn to that other Obama currently in the public eye. Our new president threw all of D.C. into "a tizzy," according to the Times, by allowing his staff to take off their suit jackets in the Oval Office. Esquire approves of the sartorial choice:
Obama is a modern man. He uses a BlackBerry. He plays pick-up basketball. He fist-bumps, if not as often as he used to. He doesn't buy into the old saw that men have to wear two-piece suits to take themselves or their surroundings seriously...The new president is also wrapping his arms around some pretty big problems here, and if ditching the jacket and even rolling up his sleeves gets the blood flowing, "the capital" should calm the hell down and let the man work.
And Jezebel puts it even more forcefully:
Wearing a jacket doesn't make you smarter, it doesn't make your underlings more capable and it doesn't say anything about what kind of Presidency you might be about to have. It does show, however, that Obama would rather have smart people say smart things without a suit jacket on than bar them at the office door for their insolence, and I'm pretty fine with that.So will this be a watershed moment for men's fashion? Will Obama kill the suit jacket much like JFK killed the hat by going bare-headed to his inauguration? Well, probably not. (For one thing, it turns out the story about JFK and the hat industry is an urban legend.) In the same article, Esquire fantasizes about seeing the president in a three-piece suit at public events. It's not about dressing down, they're saying; it's about knowing when to dress up.
· White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code [NYT]
· Why We Like Obama's Less Formal White House Dress Code [Esquire]
· People In Washington Need To Get Over Themselves And Their Jackets [Jezebel]