As befits a president, Barack Obama has finally gone custom. Izzy missed this at the time, but Obama wore a custom navy blue worsted Hartmarx suit for his acceptance speech.
Obama, who wears a 40 long with a 33-inch waist, has worn Hart Schaffner Marx suits in the past but always off the rack, said an inside source. He favors the Gold Trumpeter collection. This time, he made appointments with Hartmarx tailors for his nomination-night suit.
The fabric is 97 percent merino wool and 3 percent cashmere.
The pants are pleated and have an inch and a quarter cuff.
A similar suit off the rack would retail for about $1,500.
Pleated pants? Isn’t Obama supposed to bring change and vigor to the White House? Is this a sartorial bait-and-switch? After all, TV pundit Chris Matthews got all excited before the election:
“Think of the Kennedys,” Mr. Matthews said, when asked the impact on Washington if Obama wins. “A mixed administration. Pragmatic. Some liberal tendencies, not overwhelming. Very tough. Very smart. Thin ties — are you looking at this?”
While it’s nice to see that Obama’s custom suit has some waist suppression, unlike the superconservative sack cut a la J. Press or (traditional) Brooks Brothers, it doesn’t come close to achieving the flair of JFK’s narrow ties and lapels. Going with flat-fronted pants would give a sleeker look and would also be more flattering for a thin man such as Obama. SAnd speaking of his gangliness, unless he gains some weight in office, he should start wearing higher collars to hide his long, scrawny neck.