Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Of Suits and Strategies

August is deep into the silly season, and the foofawraw over President Obama's season-appropriate sartorial styling the other day is definitely a part of that. Why yes, he wore a light-colored tailored ensemble to give a speech. Yes, I have my doubts about the suit, but not the color, actually--the pants pleats. He's a slender individual, and while it is true that pleats balance out the top and bottom halves of a suit on the seriously slim, the simple truth is that flat-fronts make a cleaner line. There, I said it, and I'm glad I did.
But no matter how I feel about pants, I'm not actually angry over Obama's clothing decision, as Rep. Peter King seems to be. If I got genuinely angry when some guy didn't dress the way I preferred, my husband might be sleeping out of doors. As it is, I think there is a gap, generally speaking, between sincerity and passion in most political rhetoric. I can forgive King for seeming passionate about the foreign policy aspect of Obama's speech, but bagging on the suit? Sincerely? That seems trivial no matter how you preface it. I don't think folks ranging in attire from camos to dishdashas are seriously valuing our President's fashion choices over what he's actually telegraphing about our policy.
That said, little was actually telegraphed about our policy, over and above not necessarily having one regarding ISIL in Syria, but that I can't even gasp at that. Sometimes, it happens that all the strategies suck regarding some task or goal. The degree of suckage can even be sufficient to make one reconsider the necessity of facing the goal.  Attacking ISIL via Syria is like that. The equities involved regarding time, tools, manpower, political will, etc, are all involved in any serious political calculation regarding doing more--but still--exit strategy? How do we know when we've bombed Isil up from the middle ages? When do we feel safe leaving off? Or are we duty bound to grind on forever?

It all has to be considered before saying there's a "strategy" worth having.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, well here's the way I see it.

Although I'm a conservative politically and economically (not necessarily a Republican), I'm going to flat-out risk my position in the Great Right-Wing Conspiracy.

I think the man can wear a suit. I think his selection of a 3-button long works very well for him. None of this cutaway, short skirt at the bottom of the jacket with one button to suggest you are cool and on top of it. Like you, I could do without the pleats. And he's slim. David Niven looked good in a suit and so did Fred Astaire. Cary Grant looked good in a suit. (And we're talking about real movie stars here, not this tattooed ghetto trash that we see in movies today.)

Cary Grant had an interesting thing going. As a young performer he was in a trapeze act. Although he had narrow shoulders he developed a very strong neck. So he chose swimming as his exercise to develop long, lean muscles and not do something that would create muscularity that would coordinate with his neck. Then he chose suit colors that were muted and underplayed, but with flawless tailoring. You see him and Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly, and you know what class really is.

But I digress. The president avoided a display handkerchief, which I think was wise in his ensemble. Some would say for a complete look he needed the display handkerchief, but I think it would have been a needless affectation that bordered on recklessness.

Now a question could be raised as to whether he looked presidential. After all, the man had a tight schedule. He had to fly in, dash to the podium with a little previous coordination on the way, satisfy the requirements of his job, and no sooner than the flash bulbs stopped popping had to get to that celebrity wedding. Why not stay in the suit he had chosen for the wedding? It probably cost five or ten thousand dollars. He looked great in it, sort of like a CEO having to break up his foursome at the country club to get over and take care of some business before jetting off for a meeting with the regional directors. So why change the suit? What the hell. When you look good, you feel good, and have an exquisite fabric next to your body, you automatically project an aura of success.

On the other hand, it wouldn't have hurt to take 5 minutes to kick of the pants and jacket (retaining the shirt and tie) and throw on the presidential uniform to help the Democratic Party from having another object of ridicule. It would have only taken a moment and then quickly back into the expensive suit and into the limo.