If there is ever a time to get dressed up, it’s when you are sworn into the highest office in the free world. Whatever your political proclivity, proper formal attire is apolitical. And, whether you are a the President of the United States, or President of the board, every day you puts on clothes, those clothes play a role in how the world perceives you.
In recent history, President Elects’ have opted for a dark suit and either a red or blue tie … which mirror just about every other day they have appeared in public. It’s boring, uniform, and, in my humble opinion, needs to change. If there was ever a day to switch up the attire, why not choose the most important day of your life?
We could take a trip through the ages to look for cues — Andrew Jackson’s tailcoat, William Mckinley’s silk accented topcoat, or even FDR’s formal cape — but I’ll highlight just one as a shining example of spectacle: JFK’s 1961 swearing in ceremony. Our most influential president, from strictly a style perspective, told the world with his attire that this is a special day, and we are going to celebrate. He strutted down the White House lawn in full morning attire, complete with a top hat. While not an outfit for any dreary Tuesday, when you are sworn in to the highest of office (and there is a post-ceremony, state sponsored parade in your honor), you pull out all the stops. And in classic, by-the-book correctness, JFK transitioned into a white tie, wing collar number for his inauguration ball.
In a world where suits and tuxes are as dressed up as we get, we should all take note and understand that there are still a few occasions that precede all others, and attire to match.