Rand Paul, Fashion Plate

 

rand-paul-628x434[1]Senator Rand Paul is often cited as a candidate who can cross traditional Republican lines and reach new constituencies: youth, civil-liberties types, African Americans. But I think Senator Paul’s influence has now entered the most unlikely place ever for a Republican politician: the fashion world.

Back during the senator’s 2010 campaign, a picture of Paul circulated the interwebs. It showed the candidate waiting to go on TV. He had come to the studio directly from his son’s soccer game, but it was one of those talking-head appearances, in which he would appear only from the waist up. The picture shows Paul’s improvised look: Suit jacket, dress shirt, tie — and matching plaid shorts.

Well, today we see what the image hath wrought. Various news outlets report on the latest men’s fashion: Short suits.

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No one else will credit the junior senator from Kentucky, but I think his influence is clear.

Men’s summer fashion has been tricky since we stopped wearing suits as a matter of course. If you live on an island, the Bermuda look can work.

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And some men can get away with kiltage for formal dress.

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But what the shorts-suit reminds me of most is a stillborn Japanese fashion idea from 2005. As part of its effort to reduce carbon emissions, the government of Junichiro Koizumi pushed an initiative called “Cool Biz.” It encouraged businesses to conserve energy by using less air conditioning during the oppressive summer months, recommending office temperatures of about 80°F. However, the Japanese business class famously eschews casual dress. Koizumi’s solution? The short-sleeved suit. It was so ugly that all images of Koizumi wearing it appear to have been scrubbed from the Internet. (I’d be obliged to any Japan-based Ricochetti who might be able to find one.) Here’s an image that hints at its horrible awfulness (and awful horribleness):

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I, for one, would sooner wear a kilt. But then, I’d sooner wear a kilt than wear a short suit. So this summer you’ll find me, once again, in my trademark seersucker suit. Because some summer fashion just doesn’t go out of style.

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  1. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Yeah, I saw a kid at a corporate garden party recently wearing yellow shorts with a suit jacket.

    The temptation to violate the non-aggression principle was high.

    I resisted the temptation, of course, and silently admonished myself for being so judgmental. After all, it’s merely an aesthetic choice, not a moral one.

    • #1
  2. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Misthiocracy:

    Yeah, I saw a kid at a corporate garden party recently wearing yellow shorts with a suit jacket.

    The temptation to violate the non-aggression principle was high.

     “Kid” meaning 10-year-old, or “kid” meaning 23-year-old? I can excuse the style among children. Part of what makes the style look so silly on adult men is that it is reminiscent of prepubescent boys.

    • #2
  3. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    I have seen pictures of men in some tropical country wearing short-sleeve business suits.  Bahamas, maybe, or Jamaica?  I really don’t see either short sleeve suits or short pants with a suit catching on in the U.S., though.  Maybe if I lived in Miami or New Orleans, I might think differently.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Son of Spengler:

    Misthiocracy:

    Yeah, I saw a kid at a corporate garden party recently wearing yellow shorts with a suit jacket.

    The temptation to violate the non-aggression principle was high.

    ”Kid” meaning 10-year-old, or “kid” meaning 23-year-old? I can excuse the style among children. Part of what makes the style look so silly on adult men is that it is reminiscent of prepubescent boys.

    Kid, as in young professional. Well, maybe an intern. In his 20s though, and from the looks of it rather popular with the female young professionals.

    • #4
  5. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    If the shorts were a tad looser and longer, it would work a lot better. Oh, and they need socks. And proper shoes.

    • #5
  6. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Randy Weivoda: I have seen pictures of men in some tropical country wearing short-sleeve business suits. Bahamas, maybe, or Jamaica?

     They’re pretty popular in Tanzania.

    I’ll stick to linen and seersucker.

    • #6
  7. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Salvatore Padula:

    Randy Weivoda: I have seen pictures of men in some tropical country wearing short-sleeve business suits. Bahamas, maybe, or Jamaica?

    They’re pretty popular in Tanzania.

    I’ll stick to linen and seersucker.

    Hmm. Maybe the kid at the garden party was merely a supporter of Canada annexing the Turks & Caicos?

    • #7
  8. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Misthiocracy:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Randy Weivoda: I have seen pictures of men in some tropical country wearing short-sleeve business suits. Bahamas, maybe, or Jamaica?

    They’re pretty popular in Tanzania.

    I’ll stick to linen and seersucker.

    Hmm. Maybe the kid at the garden party was merely a supporter of Canada annexing the Turks & Caicos?

     Isn’t everybody?

    “Conservative MP Peter Goldring has been pushing the idea for over a decade, saying that Canada needs its own Hawaii.”

    I find that a difficult argument to refute.

    • #8
  9. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Business above, party below.
    It’s the fashion equivalent of a mullet.

    Note: Kilts are respectable business attire.

    • #9
  10. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Salvatore Padula:

    Misthiocracy:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Randy Weivoda: I have seen pictures of men in some tropical country wearing short-sleeve business suits. Bahamas, maybe, or Jamaica?

    They’re pretty popular in Tanzania.

    I’ll stick to linen and seersucker.

    Hmm. Maybe the kid at the garden party was merely a supporter of Canada annexing the Turks & Caicos?

    Isn’t everybody?

    “Conservative MP Peter Goldring has been pushing the idea for over a decade, saying that Canada needs its own Hawaii.”

    I find that a difficult argument to refute.

    I could do it. Pretty easily, ackshully. But it would be far too off-topic.

    I’ll simply sum it up with two words: Equalization Payments.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    C. U. Douglas:

    Business above, party below. It’s the fashion equivalent of a mullet.

    Note: Kilts are respectable business attire.

    Perfect example of how folk tend to cherry-pick their examples when discussing aesthetic choices as if they are moral ones.

    So, shorts are not appropriate on men, but skirts are appropriate on men, as long as they are plaid?!

    Is this “appropriate” business attire?

    The man depicted was one of history’s greatest entrepreneurs, after all.

    • #11
  12. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    I’m totally cherry-picking, and not just because I look absolutely smashing in a kilt. Okay, it’s entirely because I look smashing in a kilt.

    • #12
  13. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    C. U. Douglas:

    I’m totally cherry-picking, and not just because I look absolutely smashing in a kilt. Okay, it’s entirely because I look smashing in a kilt.

     Well, as long as you don’t do this. (Warning CoC violation)

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/risque/queen.asp

    • #13
  14. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Kay of MT:

    C. U. Douglas:

    I’m totally cherry-picking, and not just because I look absolutely smashing in a kilt. Okay, it’s entirely because I look smashing in a kilt.

    Well, as long as you don’t do this. (Warning CoC violation)

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/risque/queen.asp

     I knew this post would generate some randy comments!

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Short suit?  Not a chance.

    A kilt?  Only if I get a sgian dhubh to go with it.

    • #15
  16. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Shorts and a blazer can work, but you should have a sport shirt of some type and if you have to wear a tie it should be a knit tie.

    and dear god, OTC socks is right out.

    If you do have to dress up in the hot, then a nice wool/linen/silk blend suit costs a bit more than regular wool, but it isn’t as tricky to pull off as the short suit.

    I wear blazers just about any time I leave the house because I like breast pockets for cell phone(s).

    • #16
  17. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    SoS, you are a man after my own heart.  Salvadore, too.  All through the post, I was thinking: seersucker, seersucker, SEERSUCKER.  You hit it in the last line.  And Salvadore added linen.  Really, nothing smarter for summer wear than seersucker, and linen is just classic, especially in cream.  Linen is just so much harder to care for.  I bought my husband a seersucker suit over 10 years ago (Brooks Brothers, about the only place to get them then) and it remains his go-to summer suit, usually with a pink, cotton, short sleeved shirt and a floral tie.  I’d like to see a Madras plaid bow tie, but haven’t come across one.  And a straw Panama hat or boater.  Very sweet!  My handsome lad.

    • #17
  18. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Wool/linen/silk blend fabrics don’t wrinkle like normal linen, while retaining the breath-ability and aesthetic.

    • #18

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