July 31, 2016

Hillary wore a white suit, but what if a man wore a white suit... what if a man wore red pants?

There was the usual chatter about whether it's sexist to talk about what Hillary wore, but the visuals are part of a politician's message, and wearing a white suit is a loud message to the eye. Of course, we should talk about it. The day after the convention, I observed that a male presidential candidate appearing at the convention in a white suit would be considered a lunatic. And what if he turned up in cobalt blue — like Hillary on Day 3 — or pumpkin or mustard — as Hillary has seen fit to do on the campaign stage. He'd be considered a clown.

And yesterday, I was listening to Tom and Lorenzo's podcast about fashion at the convention, and they were talking about how narrow the range color range is for male politicians. They don't even wear black or gray suits. The suits are all dark blue. And the wearing of white shirts is so standard that a big deal was made out of Tim Kaine's wearing a blue shirt.

But somehow I'd missed Anthony Weiner (not that they let that man on the stage). Here's something that got my attention in Maureen Dowd's "lightning round" interview with Donald Trump:
On Anthony Weiner being in the convention hall in bright red pants, calling Trump’s convention “a Dumpster fire”:

“I think he’s a pervert. It’s dangerous to allow him on the convention floor.”
Weiner wore red pants? Yes. Here's a NYT report from Wednesday, "Anthony Weiner, Often a Democratic Outcast, Is Sticking Around":
Mr. Weiner wore bright red pants, recognizable to those who have encountered him at New York City parades and festivals....
So, yeah, wearing red pants has been a trademark for Weiner. He's an outcast, of course, but even before he was cast out, he was wearing the red pants. Here's an Esquire article from August 2013 about men in red pants:
So, is Weiner's predilection for red chinos supporting evidence of a justifiable public disdain for the vermillion-legged men of the world? Or does Carlos Danger's fondness for tomato-colored pants have no real bearing on the issue? We say the latter.

Here's why: In the UK, red trousers are bound up with matters of class — as noted in the Telegraph piece, they're generally considered the realm of the posh and elderly...

In the States, though, red pants of the sort that the Telegraph is concerned with — bold, saturated, bright — aren't subject to that same sort of associative baggage. Whereas sun-faded, salmon-hued Nantucket reds may speak to the idea of wealthy Northeasterners, the Kennedies...
Interesting spelling.
... and a specifically American version of "royalty," all those other red pants are just… red pants... So, should you do it? Yes. Go for it.... Provided, of course, that you follow this one, unbelievably crucial rule: Only wear one piece of red clothing at a time.
And here's a NYT article from August 2014:
“Once they were the preserve of braying poshos,” The Guardian observed in an anti-red-trouser screed in 2012, “now they are the hipsters’ choice.”...

Whether chino or skinny jean, however, the red pant demands comment, as Anthony Weiner, then a New York mayoral hopeful, found as he stumped at a 2013 same-sex marriage rally in salmon slacks (New York magazine asserted, “Anthony Weiner’s Gay Pants Are the Talk of the Town”).
So there are other colors for men. There's red. And while we're talking about bright-colored pants, here at Meadhouse, there's green. Remember this guy:

63 comments:

Meade said...

Nice checkerboard shirt.

MarkW said...

Reminds me of a wonderful bit about yellow socks in Evan S Connel's 'Mr Bridge' (a novel that should be much better known).

Another thing he did not forget about that night at the ballet was the spectacle of Dr Sauer wearing brilliant yellow socks. The psychiatrist had taken a seat in the middle of the first row; there he sat with his legs crossed, and the socks so bright they almost made a noise. They were not merely yellow, they were the yellowest possible yellow. Mr Bridge, who invariably wore black silk socks with garters and black shoes, was astounded but not particularly surprised, because Dr Sauer had turned up in the Terrace Grill of the Muehlebach wearing a green-checked vest with glass buttons, cordovan loafers, striped Italian trousers, and other such items. Frequently he wore a large, loose, blue Spanish beret, which he had bought one summer in Valencia.

During intermission they met in the lobby. Mr Bridge introduced Ruth.

Later she remarked, ‘He’s mad!’ and Mr Bridge laughed because that was his own opinion.

‘Did you notice those socks?’ he asked.

And Ruth said, ‘They’re great! I wish you’d wear something jazzy.’

He tried to imagine himself wearing a pair of yellow socks. He could see himself wearing them at home, as a joke, but that was all. He tried to imagine wearing them to the office, and he had no trouble seeing the expression on Julia’s face.

Whether it was Ruth’s comment or only the sight of the yellow socks, he did not know, but not long after the ballet he found many things reminding him of them. Each time he saw a pair of socks of any color he was reminded of Dr Sauer’s socks, or if he saw anything yellow, even a banana. It was annoying. And inevitably, the more he determined to forget them, the more often he discovered himself thinking about them.

n.n said...

Yeah, shorts are the problem. Men need to act their gender.

MayBee said...

Men don't need to wear white because they don't need to be the bride of their Party.

Next we will have to call Hillary The Virgin POTUS.

Comanche Voter said...

It's not so much that Weiner is sticking around; it's what he's all too frequently sticking out that should bar him from the convention floor.

MayBee said...

Congressman Aaron Shock wore brightly colored clothes. He may still, although he's no longer a Congressman.

I think his clothes drew to much attention to his fashionable lifestyle, which in turn drew attention to the fact that he shouldn't be able to afford such a fashionable lifestyle.
Male politicians should dress in a fashion that won't get them investigated.
Hillary has the option to dress in the color of purity.

MayBee said...

Weiner will be close to the White House if Hillary wins.

n.n said...

Clinton is setting up for a "Carrie" moment. The tell-tale heart beats progressively louder.

Comanche Voter said...

As fir a white suit, didn't the author Thomas Wolfe (the current one, not the older one) frequently wear a white suit. And what good ol Southern Politician of the Huey P. Long, and Senator Foghorn P. Leghorn didn't occasionally appear in a white suit? I mean it's summertime and Philly is in that Mid Atlantic State swelter belt.


Of course Hillary is ethically the epitome of the "soiled dove" of old; if there is some political vice she hasn't yet tried, it's only for lack of opportunity--and she has had a lot of opportunities. Soiled doves don't wear white. It offends the eye.

chickelit said...

C'mon Althouse, you made funny comments about Trump's body and torso earlier. I'm waiting for the balancing riffs on the shape of Hillary.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The chief pilot at one NASA center occasionally affected "harlequin " patchwork pants. He was also a USMC Colonel. I asked him about it once, because he'd always before dressed conventionally. He said "RHIP".

buwaya puti said...

Yellow socks - reference to Malvolio in Twelfth Night?
Anyway, cotton seersucker or linen (and others too) white or light colored suits were SOP tropical wear for 70 years or more. I think every US president from Garfield to Nixon probably had one .

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Long ago and far away the only color for Jeans was Blue. Then somebody started a new trend by wearing White Jeans. But we soon discovered why Blue was better. Sitting down on the ground outside. White worked better in Western dry climate.



chickelit said...

There's another unwritten rule in politics: Mock Chris Christie all you want for his weight but lay off of Clinton because...woman!

Bob Boyd said...

One of the most respected men in America always appears in white suit.
I'm referring, of course, to Colonel Sanders whose breakthrough discovery in the blending of herbs and spices changed countless lives.

chickelit said...

BTW, whatever happened to "Saturday Night Live"? They did great satire of the Trump and Clinton personas. Did they fold up the tent or get seriously unfunny? We never hear about them anymore.

chickelit said...

I'm referring, of course, to Colonel Sanders whose breakthrough discovery in the blending of herbs and spices changed countless lives.

Perhaps Hillary was mocking Sanders in her white suit, just like she mocked justice in that orange jumpsuit.

MayBee said...

chickelit- SNL is on summer hiatus

chickelit said...

Hillary wears a palate of smockery.

chickelit said...

Hillary wears a palate of smockery.

I guess that should be "palette" and not "palate," but she does affect tastes doesn't she? Do other women copy Hillary's style?

chickelit said...

Will cartoonists flatter Hillary's shape?

Big Mike said...

I wore green pants back in the day. In 1969 when I was drafted for Lyndon Johnson's war I wore dark green wool/polyester pants with a khaki shirt, black tie, and dark green uniform jacket when I wasn't wearing olive green twill slacks with an olive green shirt.

Thank you, Dumbocrats, for drafting me and thanks even more for deliberately losing that war.

And thanks, heaps, Althouse, for reminding me of those two lost years of my life.

buwaya puti said...

Colonel Sanders technical innovation was to use pressure cookers to speed chicken frying.
It seems that the company subsequently abandoned his seasoning formula for something cheaper.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Every man in Nebraska is required to own a pair of red pants. I would imagine that quite a few in Wisconsin do too.

Darrell said...

KFC didn't alter the seasonings--they changed the preparation methods including waiting times, in line with current efficient business practices. Flavor infusion took a back seat.

rhhardin said...

Union tie-in: The Man in the White Suit (1951)

HT said...

Lots of men wear white suits!

http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/images/949.jpg

n.n said...

If men were peacocks.

Sebastian said...

@AA: "a male presidential candidate appearing at the convention in a white suit would be considered a lunatic." I, for one, would have voted for candidate Tom Wolfe, if only for the pleasure of hearing him skewer the nomination process, the lunacy of American politics, and the utter corruption of the Democrats. Methinks (yeah, yeah) he wore white to stand apart precisely so that he would be entirely free to diagnose insanity in the culture at large.

@chickelit: "I'm waiting for the balancing riffs on the shape of Hillary." What shape?

HT said...

He doesn't have to run for president for you to read his commentary on this election.

Also - in Salon yes Salon - Camille Paglia has something on the election too. Perhaps AA has already blogged about it.

glenn said...

All I need to know about Anthony Weinerwagger and the NY Dems is that he was leading the polls to be the Mayor of New York when he got caught flashing electronically.

Unknown said...

HT, if you want to have anyone pay any attention to you, you need to move past Profile Not Available. Just so you know why you're being ignored. Actually, I'd course, your BS levels were sensed, then tour profile checked; so post how ergo propter how, but anyway, ya burnt.

Unknown said...

Bloody Android. Post hoc Ergo propter hoc.

glenn said...

For the second time.

Sebastian said...

"He doesn't have to run for president for you to read his commentary on this election." Of course. But appearing at the convention would give it a little more impact, don't you think?

HT said...

No, not more than Trump. You maybe mean impact for the blog reading crowd. But in terms of spectacle, no you can't beat Trump, not now. Wallace of course would give him a run for his money.

HT said...

Unknown said...

HT, if you want to have anyone pay any attention to you, you need to move past Profile Not Available. Just so you know why you're being ignored. Actually, I'd course, your BS levels were sensed, then tour profile checked; so post how ergo propter how, but anyway, ya burnt.

7/31/16, 11:09 AM

____________

Sorry, what?

chickelit said...

Though Dylan did explicitly say so, you just know that his Big Jim character in Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts wore a white suit:

Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine
He made his usual entrance lookin' so dandy and so fine

Fabi said...

I may have to burn my Nantucket Red trousers because of this. My shorts of the same fabric -- never!

William said...

It wasn't the wearing of red pants that got Weiner in trouble. It was not wearing them.......You can criticize the fashion choices of men with total abandon. You have to be far more circumspect in passing judgment on women, unless, of course, they're Republican. The one thing you can never do is criticize a woman for wearing a hijab or a scarf. Republican women should take to wearing scarves and hijabs during public appearances.

Bruce Hayden said...

Partner knew Col Sanders (not the bad fake they have on TV now, but the real one) when she was young and loved him. Kind, stately old gentleman who loved kids. Her mother did his books. She never saw him personally in that white suit though.

Right around 2000, I was spending time in clubs in Scottsdale, and would wear a white suit out on Fri nights in the summer. Got me noticed by women, in a good way. I think the rule was between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Something like that. The reason it worked was because I was dressing up, and most of the men weren't, but the women sure were (we are talking Scottsdale, with a lot of women trying to move up, and not that many eligible (I.e. rich) guys). My partner, who met me during that period in my life wouldn't be caught dead with me in that white suit in public.

chickelit said...

@Sebastian: Blast from the past.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not going to get rid of Weiner until we can get rid of Crooked Hillary. Saw Huma around her a lot in the background at the convention, and when you see her, you ultimately have him. He is probably under orders not to get too close to the Clintons so that there won't be any pictures of Weiner around either Clinton. Still is fun though magining his ugly mug, red pants, and Crooked Hillary and her satorial excesses in the same picture.

The Cracker Emcee said...

From The Guardian link:

"and there is no species more rigid about fashion rules than a man who claims to have no interest in fashion."

Yes, that would be me.

rcocean said...

White linen suits used to be very popular. I've seen photos of Robert E. lee and mark twain in them.

Neither looked like a looney or a clown.


But yeah, we expect our President's to give his important addresses in a dark colored suit.

320Busdriver said...

I got me a pair of them salmon colored short trousers. Penguin brand to be exact. Best worn with flip flops. Probably gets me banned from this site. I don't care.

Mac McConnell said...

Nantucket Reds are a specific color of red, but like most red slacks are considered GTH (Go To Hell) clothing.http://www.ivy-style.com/seventy-years-the-history-of-murrays-and-its-famous-nantucket-reds.html

Tom Wolfe, Esquire 1976,

"[Bostonians on Martha’s Vineyard] had on their own tribal colors. The jackets were mostly navy blazers, and the ties were mostly striped ties or ties with little jacquard emblems on them, but the pants had a go-to-hell air: checks and plaids of the loudest possible sort, madras plaids, yellow-on-orange windowpane checks, crazy-quilt plaids, giant houndstooth checks, or else they were a solid airmail red or taxi yellow or some other implausible go-to-hell color. They finished that off with loafers and white crew socks or no socks at all. The pants were their note of Haitian abandon… at the same time the jackets and ties showed they had not forgotten for a moment where the power came from."

Darrell said...

All the con artists and bullshitters used to wear white suits in the South. So it's quite appropriate for Hillary.

Rhythm and Balls said...

..but what if a man wore...

What if Althouse actually focused on policy, or really any of the things in politics that mattered?

buwaya puti said...

Culture is upstream of politics. Or policy.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Is that Maureen Dowd column a goddamn joke? He complimented nearly every one of his supposed political "enemies" to a degree I've never seen before.

buwaya puti said...

Off the wall reference here, Millan Astray.
An engineer of mens souls, it is said. He used precisely targeted rhetoric, and music, and clothing, none overtly political, to create the Spanish Legion.
Which gave the ethical basis, over about 15 years, of the Spanish Army of Africa. Which was the one thing that let the otherwise failed Nationalist coup of 1936 survive, by the narrowest of margins. Which led to the Spanish Civil War. Which decisively encouraged the Fascist powers, and gave them confidence of victory. Which led to WW2. Which led to the modern world.
What was the significance, say, of a silly song, "Novio de la muerte", in all this? That it was upstream.
Who knows what a white suit can do.

Rhythm and Balls said...

“I’m feeling she’s not going to get in. I have a strong feeling about it. I don’t think she has what it takes. I watched her last night. It was hard to watch. I was falling asleep. It beats Sominex every time. She could barely beat Bernie. The system is rigged. It’s a terrible thing.”

Trump is doing this as smart as he can. If there's one thing I've found out about egomaniacal/entitled women over the course of my life, it's that there's one thing they can't stand to be called out on: How boring they are. And the way he describes the Bernie situation is politically smart also - at least when he settles down and addresses it calmly.

Clyde said...

Wieners are red,
Mustard is yellow,
Anthony Wiener's
An outcast fellow.

mikee said...

I was an elementary school kid in the 1960s, going to a nun-taught parochial school.
We wore uniforms of black shoes, blue slacks, white shirt, blue tie. Girls had plaid dresses to below the knee and white blouses.

It was my delight to wear anything else when not in school. My 9-year old prideful self owned a pair of Levi's sky-blue needle-wale corduroy pants with the brass buttoned fly. Here is their modern equivalent, unfortunately with a zipper.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Levis-Mens-514-Straight-Fit-Corduroy-Pants-Many-Colors-and-Sizes-NWT-/271535894171

Good to see the 60's making a comeback, I suppose, although the men's pants colors look as silly now as they did then. When can I wear giant bell bottom jeans again?

Leora said...

When I think red pants I think of elderly Jewish men (relatives and friends of relatives) who live in over 55 communities in Palm Beach County. Many have Germanic names like Bernard or Howard but are known by diminutives like Howie or Bernie. Many of them resided at one time or another in Weiner's Congressional district. I think the red pants may be some subsonic echo of their parents aspiration to assimilate to the upper class Wasp style in the 20's and early 30's.

readering said...

Surely someone has a '70s era photo of Waspy-Preppy GHW dressed in multicolored chinos for the country club? (They don't have to be madras.)

Mac McConnell said...

readering
Finding our most ivy dressing president in GTH Nantucket reds is easy on the net. He seems to only wear GTH socks in his old age.

Check out his madras jacket while in China, I believe as US Ambassador.
http://www.ivy-style.com/now-open-madras-season.html

Mac McConnell said...

Leora
" I think the red pants may be some subsonic echo of their parents aspiration to assimilate to the upper class Wasp style in the 20's and early 30's."

Most college educated jews from the 1930 till 1968 dressed ivy style, just like non-jews, even black jazz players. Remember there were dress codes at major universities till the mid=60s.Jewish tailors designed the look, marketed it to WASP. Anyone really believe the actual Brooks brothers were tailors? :-)

SukieTawdry said...

The day after the convention, I observed that a male presidential candidate appearing at the convention in a white suit would be considered a lunatic.

Back in the day when I was an Orange County Young Republican, I had several opportunities to see Gov. Ronald Reagan speak before small groups. On one summer occasion, he wore a three-piece white linen suit. Deeply tanned, he looked spectacular. In fact, it's the image my mind conjures up first whenever I think of him. Perhaps it would not transfer well to the convention stage, but it sure worked for me.

ELC said...

Lincoln had a white suit. He sat for a studio portrait wearing it, May 7, 1858, the day he famously got Duff Armstrong acquitted of murder with the help of an almanac. The photo was taken by one Abraham Byers, who was only 18 years old at the time.

https://www.facebook.com/Real.Lincoln.Quotes/photos/a.333916980035810.78696.333884363372405/339987262762115

He is also wearing that suit when posing in the midst of a crowd in front of his home, August 8, 1860.

Jan R. said...

I would gladly take a presidential candidate--male or female--wearing orange or mustard-colored suits if he or she was a person of intelligence and principle.