August 22, 2012 1 Comment
The other day I mentioned to a friend that I just could not understand why a politician of Ryan’s stature was wearing suits that looked like a boy wearing hand-me-down suits from his dad or big brother. It’s really just bizarre. I cannot think of another nationally prominent politiican where I’ve simply noticed how poorly they are dressed. I wondered if I was just imagining it. No. The friend mentioned that the Post had actually run an article on it:
But Ryan (Wis.) appeared rumpled, slightly sloppy for a vice-presidential candidate. As if he’d flown in hours before and mistakenly picked up someone else’s suitcase. His pants sagged at his ankles. His starched, white shirt bunched at his stomach. His dark jacket drooped, better suited for a man of the cloth than a man on a presidential ticket.
Ryan, a high-ranking House Republican, known as a stickler for numbers and a devotee of hard-core workouts, seemed oddly unconcerned about the clothes he wore during the most important announcement of his political career. How could a fitness buff with 6 to 8 percent body fat wear a suit that looked two sizes too big?
Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The article goes on to suggest it may be a calculated move:
“Paul Ryan looked like what he is: a rumpled, think-tank policy wonk sort of guy,” said Christine K. Jahnke, president ofPositive Communications, a Washington-based media and image-consultant company (her hundreds of clients have included The Washington Post). “I don’t think that will change as the campaign goes on. If he clicks it up too much, both he and Romney will have the distant CEO-Wall Street look.”
Perhaps his raw, slightly unkempt suit balances out Romney’s snazzier, controlled appearance. Ryan’s Midwestern sensibilities and baggy pants may appeal to swing voters who think cuff links are wasteful expenditures. The man believes in trimming budgets, not pant legs.
Honestly, I think he just has no idea how to buy a suit. Then again, a little googling led me to this NYT critique (and I love the psycho-analysis that goes with it):
I asked my colleague Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, for his thoughts on Mr. Ryan’s sizing problem. In an e-mail, he said: “Like many American suit wearers, I think he suffers from the misconception that the size a guy wears directly correlates with his masculinity. In their minds, being a 42 is more manly than a 40. And yet what actually happens when a guy wears something too big is the obvious: he looks smaller, dwarfed by shoulders that are too big, a shirt collar that is too roomy, lapels that are too wide.”
Bruce added: “A suit should properly contain the body. It’s a very empowering thing to wear a jacket that hugs the torso, a shape that you fill completely and appropriately.”
Instead of boasting about his insane workout, perhaps Mr. Ryan should get a skilled tailor, or challenge campaign aides to pay closer attention to tangible details rather than abstractions like whether or not the candidates appeal to nonrich, nonwhite voters.