No fleeting hotshots for me; no, I am talking about men of substance who have already endured the test of time as well as those who clearly will.
When I think of those people to whom I look to for inspiration, I demand far more than flash. I want substance, meaning, thoughtfulness, intellect, and individuality. Over the next few posts I will share with you my own list of style icons and tell you why I find them inspiring and worth emulating. My list includes politicians, literary giants, actors and royalty. Each one represents a true mix of style and substance.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a charming, magnetic and very intelligent leader. He was a breath of fresh air to a country facing uncertain times. He also happened to be married to Jacqueline Bovier; still considered to be the archetype of a modern First Lady.
The Kennedys were an iconic couple that still embodies the American political ideal: power, money, charm, history, class, and at least the appearance of approachability. To this day, Jack and Jackie are the closest thing to royalty the United States has ever produced. President Kennedy died young of course, but that has forever secured his legacy of a shining icon taken too soon. Enormous potential left unfulfilled.
He had a classic, timeless style about him – some might say it was the kind only money could buy – but he and his family brought elegance and graciousness to the White House. He was also a strong leader, author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and brilliant politician. Kennedy’s personal style is also enduring.
It has been said that when he took the oath of office bare headed, the first president to do so, it was the death knell of the hat industry. He brought the Ivy League look to the global stage and made the sack suit the international sartorial symbol of America.
Comfortable in both white tie and tails or khakis and an old sweater, he was informally stylish and at the same time elegantly disarming. Republican or Democrat, all presidential hopefuls secretly compare themselves to JFK. That is his enduring power.