I thought you all might find this interesting; today, DNR ran a story delving into the American presidential candidates’ and their wardrobes.
It is not so much a critique of their sartorial choices as it is an exploration of how their personal styles affect perceptions, the media and the fashion industry.
It’s no surprise that the fashion world is deeply in love with Barrack Obama, but the article points out that, unlike John McCain whose war hero status is an easily understood archetype, Obama has had to consciously create a image that projects his own personal brand.
The result is a smooth and modern update of classic American style – kennedyesque but distinctively his own. Being of mixed ancestry and coming from both a challenging childhood and Ivy League education, Obama does not naturally have a story that explains who he is. In crafting his own look therefore, he had to deliberately choose the elements that were to physically define his image.
Senator Barrack Obama
Obama’s physique and height easily lend a certain elegance to his trimmer but not skinny suits and overall polished look. Though he has already graced numerous fashion magazines, David Axlerod, Obama’s campaign manager, says he makes an effort to avoid his candidate being branded too GQ. As Obama has already been on the cover of GQ, and every other major trade, this has been difficult to say the least.
John McCain on the other hand already has a public personal narrative – that of a tough and independent war hero who survived the kind of capture, torture and imprisonment which would have quickly done in almost any one else. He is also significantly older than Obama and does not have the same sartorial expectations as his opponent. McCain’s traditional political uniform of loose dark suits or khakis and knit shirts can seem inelegant next to Obama’s tailored trimness, but the difference in the two mens’ clothing styles speaks to differences in their personalities as well.
Senator John McCain
McCain’s rumpled style is more shoot-from-the-hip and earthy; it’s less cosmopolitan and more “boots on the ground.” Obama’s look has been described as that of a sophisticated college professor. While such comparisons are inevitable and sometimes instructive (I’ve done one or two myself) conducting an actual side-by-side analysis is a bit unfair. It’s like comparing an Aston Martin to Hummer; both are excellent vehicles but each is wholly different than the other.
So, if you have a few minutes read the DNR article and let me hear your own thoughts.