Ryan’s Sartorial Problem


by Chris Bodenner

A reader sizes up the new sidekick:

Never trust a guy with an ill-fitting suit. I'm absolutely convinced that Romney let Ryan borrow his sport coat right before the big announcement.  First off, I believe it matches the pants Romney's wearing. Secondly, do not for a second tell me that a public figure with a wife is allowed to buy such a horribly-fitted sport coat.  He looks like I did during my first communion, when I borrowed my cousin's blue blazer that was too big for me "but I'd grow into it".  Did Ryan not bring a coat?  I know he's the same age as Mitt's oldest son, but the idea of this dynamic where Dad loans him clothes for special occasions is too much for me.

I'll allow that Obama did wear some pretty funky mom jeans throwing out a first pitch at a White Sox game, but my god son, this is the biggest stage you've ever been on here, let's not look like your mom buys your suits from Mens' Wearhouse (2 for $99!).

There was also much ado about no tie. Fashion critic Robin Givhan observes:

[Ryan] was dressed in the uniform that President Barack Obama popularized during the 2008 campaign. Obama wore the tieless black suit whenever he was looking to convey authority and gravitas in an informal situation. It was his go-to look for late night talk shows, for instance. Obama accessorized this look with cool, with nonchalance. Ryan prefers the aw-shucks understatement of an earnestly furrowed brow.

Althouse pounces:

Aw-shucks? What's aw-shucks about Paul Ryan? "Shucks" — according to the Urban Dictionary — is a "backwoods" interjection. Obama has "authority and gravitas" wearing exactly the same thing as Ryan, because Obama brings "cool," but Ryan brings "aw shucks." Givhan is subtly approaching the line of racial stereotypes, isn't she? No, she's not. She's already labeled Romney and Ryan "white guys" (and she'll end the column by calling them "white guys" again). … Givhan wants to say they are over-controlled in their hair and their clothes, but the facts don't fit the preferred template. Neither man wore a business get-up, and each man stepped down from that level in his own way…

(Photo: Republican nominee Mitt Romney jokes with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) after announcing him as the "next PRESIDENT of the United States" during an event announcing him as his vice presidential running mate in front of the USS Wisconsin August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. By Win McNamee/Getty Images)