Presidential Fashion

We couldn’t help but notice, being the sartorial-minded people we are, when, a few months ago, the White House released the new official portraits of President Obama and Vice President Biden.  You see, whenever a new term starts, new photos are taken for the government.  Why did we notice?  Because of the suits, of course!  Obama went from this in 2009…



To this in 2013…



Besides the obvious, 2009 Obama being grimmer and darker-haired than his cheery, greying 2013 counterpart, the subtle differences stand out.  The tie stayed mostly blue, but the pattern completely changed.  The color of the suit shifted from black to navy.  The lapels ever so slightly widened.  Why?  Presidents doubtless make concessions for the fashions of the day, but some personal quirks assuredly come into the equation, as well.  We can only wonder about Obama’s sartorial choices, and we have to remember that a U.S. President, “Leader of the Free World,” and everything that comes with it, has to look dignified and reserved above all else.  We’re probably not going to see a pink tie or a purple undershirt here…

Biden changed a bit more between terms, going from the red and reserved 2009 version…

VP Biden: Portrait shoot by Andrew "Andy" Cutraro. 459 EEOB Studio

Black, red and white…

To pinstripes galore in 2013…


Why were they both floating in limbo in the 2009 pics, anyway?

Clearly, Biden is the more sartorially adventurous of the two, but fundamentally, POTUSes and VPs have to stay period-appropriate and as reserved as a priest on Sunday.  Which makes some of the previous Presidents’ outfits so hilariously inappropriate and garish today.  Especially Gerald Ford.  Extra, extra ’70s, that one.

So, let’s take a quick look back at how some of the Presidents fared in the fashion department, and how their looks hold up today.


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