Sartorial choices of the residents of the White House have long been setting the tongues of both the press and scalawags awaggin’, since before the White House (nee the President’s Palace), was even constructed.President Washington set the tone for those to follow with his commanding presence, even in civilian clothes. Along the way, the White House has had its share of Southern Patricians, Backwoods Men, Log-Splitters, Military Commanders, haberdashers, and a true dandy or two. Background Sartorial choices of the residents of the White House have long been setting the tongues of both the press and scalawags a waggin’, well before the White House (nee the President’s Palace), was even constructed. George Washington President Washington set the tone for many to follow as he continued with his commanding presence, even in civilian clothes. Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson, the first ‘common man’ to win the presidency, had a six hundred pound block of cheese in the White House, for his fringe-wearing followers to devour.
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren, of Dutch descent, was known as an ‘meticulous’ dresser’, though the Democrats of the time whom he helped organize, were more like to wear frontiersmen chic. Perhaps, his greatest accomplishment was to help popularized the newly emergent word “O.K.” with his campaign slogan, “Old Kinderhook is OK”.
Abraham Lincoln was a transformative president who was able to transform his backwoods, rail-splitter image, by growing a most-fashionable beard (at the sugesstion of a young girl) and donning his iconic top hat (which he used to carry papers and
Woodrow Wilson kept us out of war, then got us into War, then had a stroke during which time his wife, Edith, effectively ran the government (for the last 2 1/2 years of his term).
His fashion look of: Pick One
- A minister’s son
- A college president
- A striken Man
Correct Answer: All Three.
The Two Roosevelts, T.R. and Franklin Delano
The two Roosevelts, T.R. and Franklin Delano, were distant cousins born a a generation apart — set disparate style paradigms with the former as a rough riding, San Juan Hill charging, Yosemite climbing, friend of John Muir naturalist — and the latter, FDR, though striken at an early age with polio, provided a dashing, impeccably dressed figure leading the nation through the depths of the Depression and the darkest days of World War II.
Harry S Truman
Harry S Truman, a haberdasher, who was born without a middle initial, was destined to fill the shoes of a towering predecessor. First treated as an accident of history, this always stylish president went on to push the button of the first atomic bomb, helped create the key institutions of the post World War II world — the United Nations, NATO, the re-building of Europe and Japan, among many, others.
Dwight D. Eisenhowser
Of course, people liked Ike, a matinee-handsome conquering hero, who designed his own jacket, the “Eisenhowser Jacket” which became standard issue for the entire army — and a fashion inspiration.
John F. Kennedy
Few of a certain age will ever forget Richard Nixon apparently sweating both the big and the small stuff in the 1960 television debate with a younger, better tailored, blue-shirt wearing, JFK sans 5:00 o’clock shadow.
And, of course there was perhaps his greatest asset, one Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who set a class of style all her own.
James Earl Carter
And then there was the Peanut Farmer of Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter, who made his grey cardigan a familiar, yet annoying, White House sight.
Ronald Reagan appeared as an aging former movie star and kept up appearances, even when clearing brush, as he was won’t to do on his Santa Barbara-area ranch.
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
Bush 41 and Bush 43 dressed in Corporate American fashion — the former dressed a member of the Board with the latter dressed for success as a preppy-ish MBA-toting, Chief Marketing Officer.
Bill Clinton continues to be known for his folksy aspect, his erstwhile jogging shorts, and lots of denim (even without a ranch for backdrop).
President Obama is well-loved as a dad, and for his Dad j\Jeans, but it is Mrs. Obama who has stolen the show, including Mobama nailing two Vogue covers and several appearances in the top fashion buzzwords of the year.