On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy stepped up to the mic to deliver his inaugural address and created the great menswear myth. As the story goes, JFK’s decision to address the crowd without a hat on his head delivered a fatal blow to the hat industry as American men followed his lead and shed the once obligatory hat. Is the story romantic? Sure. Is it true? Well, probably not. But, there’s no denying that an inauguration is a time for the president to make a statement. As a President that often remarks how he doesn’t even know what jacket he’s wearing, Obama has never been a paragon of style, but as he ushers in a new term, it provides him with the rare chance to prove just what clothes can mean. A return to American innovation and production would do this country some good, and what better way to show support for this country’s up-and-coming and established designers than to wear them proudly to start off four more years.
Thom Browne Chesterfield Overcoat – Here the president should take a page from the First Lady, who herself is a well known fan of Thom Browne, having worn his wares at the final debate. Browne’s story of untrained upstart to Designer of the Year in under a decade is a great representation of what could be called the new American dream.
Club Monaco Made in the USA Navy Blazer and Trousers – After a bitter campaign that cost an astronomical amount of money, the President could send a very strong message by wearing a suit that just about anyone can afford.
Ovadia & Sons Bedford Classic Shirt – For decades American brands such as Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren have been the go-to for politicians, but it’s about time the younger generation got some shine. Ariel and Shimon Ovadia represent determination and innovation, but more importantly this shirt will make Obama look like he actually thought about what he was wearing for a change.
The Windmill Club Navy Multi-Stripe Tie – Instead of wearing some generic, factory made tie, Obama should throw on one of the Windmill Club’s handmade designs. With this country’s budding industry of craftsmen and young designers often ignored by the mainstream, this is Obama’s chance to give them some much deserved attention.
Alden Shell Cordovan Longwing – A nod to a company that has remained stateside after all these years. Even in a democracy, Alden is still king.
Vintage American Flag Pin – Because every politician has to have a flag pin, so why not pick one that actually looks like it’s worth the metal it’s been printed on.