Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 27, 2009


Robin Givhan, Washington Post - The public's recent fascination with the unfortunate dungarees President Obama wore to throw out the first pitch at the All-Star Game in St. Louis reveals how conflicted folks can be about the silent symbolism of the commander in chief when he is not in formal Oval Office attire. Few people want him to look like he spends his afternoons thumbing through his subscriber editions of GQ. But most folks would like to think he has at least heard the phrase "dress for success."

The overarching aesthetic problem with Obama's jeans was they seemed to have only a passing acquaintance with the dimensions of his body. They were too short; one could see the tops of his sneakers and a hint of white socks when he was at a standstill.

They were baggy -- but lacking in old-school urban swagger or beachcomber, loose-limbed ease. To be technically correct, the jeans sagged. It wouldn't be surprising to discover that the jeans were "relaxed fit." This is the silhouette stores such as the Gap sell online -- because a shopper can find anything on the Internet including acid-washed jeans -- but not in its stores because space is at a premium and there's the company's image to consider.

Adding to the jeans' unattractiveness: They had creases. They were light blue. Practically stonewashed.

Obama's jeans sat relatively high on his waist and so some have referred to them as "mom jeans" because they managed to make the lanky Obama look . . . well, not so lanky. But really, these are the jeans of middle-aged dads who have thrown in the towel and decided that when they get home from the office and take off their suit, all they care about is comfort. Because they cannot wear their pajamas in public, their 20-year-old jeans are a viable alternative. And by God, they still fit!

This is all fine and good for those middle-aged men who do not fly on Air Force One and rule the free world. But on men who travel with a posse that includes sharpshooters, we can impose a higher standard.


Anonymous Tom Puckett said...

we'd welcome this or any President being different . . .

July 27, 2009 5:45 PM  
Anonymous robbie said...

This just goes to show how truly ridiculous the American media has become.

July 27, 2009 8:06 PM  

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