It's Time This Nation Had a Serious Discussion on Presidential Blue Jeans

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I’m kind of tired of hearing Mitt Romney’s thoughts on the economic policies of the nation. It's time for the former Massachusetts governor to address more serious and important topics.

I’d like to hear him explain, for example, how he got those blue jeans to look so perfectly faded and worn when he never wore jeans before late-2011?

Did he hire someone to wash them hundreds of times before he’d go out in public with them on?

I’d also like to know if the jeans are helping him get deeper into the obligatory “Man-of-the-People” role?

And has he consciously adopted the approach taken by Jack Nicholson when he played The Joker, i.e., “I’ll just have to let the clothes do the acting,” or have those jeans mystically provided a newfound comfort in campaigning?

Regardless of the answers, we have to hand it to Mitt. His dress-down-for-success routine has coincided with a prolonged run as the favorite in this painfully long Republican presidential primary season.

Romney is nothing if not practical. He understands that appearances do matter, that clothes do make the man, that the uniform you wear sends a very clear message.

But at least to me, there will always be something faintly comical about Romney in jeans, something a little goofy, like a tourist wearing lederhosen on his first trip to Bavaria.

Romney in jeans on stage at a high school auditorium in Michigan is like seeing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wearing love beads and a flower in his cap in Harvard Square.

I’m not saying there are no presidential candidates who can get away with wearing jeans. George W. Bush pulled it off quite nicely in his Western, brush-clearing mode. It’s impossible only for the Romneys of this world, guys whose fathers enrolled them in executive training programs in high school, whose demeanor hints they went straight from baby clothes to white shirts, neckties and blazers.

Joe Queenan, the great humorist and Wall Street Journal columnist, takes a more doctrinaire view. “Personally, I think blue jeans on an older man look ridiculous," Queenan observed, " – the French call it vieux jeune homme, which literally means ‘old young guy,’ ” (“How to Dress Like You Just Might Win,” March 3-4, 2012).

Even more than jeans, Queenan is bothered by presidential candidates wearing dress shirts without neckties. " real beef," he wrote, "is: Would it kill these guys to wear a tie every once in a while? Dress shirts literally scream: Please, please complete me with a tie. Please, please festoon me.

"OK, OK, if you're running your mouth on a beach or in a factory or while attending the Daytona 500, the tieless look is tolerable. Same deal if you're visiting a swamp or a filling station or the Bronx. But if you're up there on a dais and there's a podium right in front of you, and there's some sense that what you're saying might be important, could you please put on a dress tie to go with your dress shirt? I think they still make these things.

"Otherwise, you look like a dink. You're running for the most important office in the entire world, and here you are dressing like somebody working the night shift at Wal-Mart."

When we try too hard to fit in, I guess we all can look like dinks, which is why I probably should not wear my Red Sox cap backwards next time I attend parents weekend at my daughter's college.

Read the entire Joe Queenan column at:

1 comment:

Boston clothing said...

This is so well-written and understandable jeans. I wish it could be published. I think we all would have a much better idea of what's really going on. I'm looking forward to more.

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