Simon says: Obama’s style is ‘unremarkable’

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

Imagine it, if you can. Barack Obama decked out in a khaki cotton suit with flat front pants—no pleats—and aviators.

“He would look amazing,” says Simon Doonan. “But he would lose all credibility as a politician.”

That’s because when it comes to politics, fashion and democracy simply don’t mix. Barney’s creative ambassador sat down with Slate to talk about what makes a dictator chic, why politicians shouldn’t be vain and why you’ll never see any of Rick Santorum’s sweater vests available at his department store.

“What these guys do, they very carefully dress themselves so as to be unremarkable,” he says. “That’s their goal. They don’t want you, me, or anybody talking about what they’re wearing.”

“They have to be self-denying individuals who are devoted to everything other than vanity,” he adds.

Unless of course they’re dictators. Then they get to make things interesting by freely adding frilly details to their uniforms—military wear is SO in right now.

“Think about it,” Doonan says. “The only stylish politicians are dictators.”

As for Bam…

“He’s kept it very unremarkable. He’s done a good job at that.”

Really? Because I seem to remember an incident the involved a pitcher’s mound and mom jeans.

And also, like the rest of us common Americans, the President has a thing for shoes. Over the weekend Obama reportedly received a pair of Jordan Spizikes high-top sneakers from none other than Spike Lee himself. The sneakers, from Lee’s collaboration with Nike, aren’t actually available in stores yet, and even if they were, they probably wouldn’t come in a wooden box stamped with the presidential seal.

No seriously, that really happened.

Anyway, what do you think? Should politics and style remain separate but equal? Do you value a presidential candidate any more or less because of what they’re wearing?

See the whole video interview with Doonan here.

About Kathryn

Journalist, velvet enthusiast.
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2 Responses to Simon says: Obama’s style is ‘unremarkable’

  1. Tanya says:

    I guess he has a point, because if a politician wears designer clothes and everything, you’d get this nagging feeling at the back of your head that he may just be spending public money to buy all those designer duds. But then again, if the clothes are not “designer,” then maybe it will be cool to have a fashionable politician.
    Granted of course that politics is way different where I’m from.


    • kkattalia says:

      I don’t think I would be totally against having a fashionisto for president. I mean, we’re always paying attention to what the first lady is wearing, right? She can slap on a couture ball gown and everyone gushes about how lovely she is. But then I think about the time it leaked that Sarah Palin spent a zillion dollars on her campaign wardrobe and everyone went nuts…maybe there’s a whole different set of rules for women? Oh, but that doesn’t seem very fair.

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