politics 15 Terrible Moments in Presidential Style  

Mike Rothschild
757 votes 165 voters 10.3k views 15 items
Many US presidents have had a surprising affinity for fashion and style. Harry Truman was a former haberdasher who wore custom made suits, while John F. Kennedy is said to have set the style for an entire generation of men. Before him, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a suave dresser who could look sharp in leg braces, Warren G. Harding had matinee-idol good looks, and William Howard Taft managed to conceal 340 pounds in surprisingly stylish suits. When it comes to presidential fashion, these sharp suit-wearers won more than just elections.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and not all presidents have carried the style mantel as easily as others- as evidenced by some of the worst dressed presidents in American history. Sometimes you either get a president who doesn't care what they wear, or makes a bad fashion choice immortalized in an unflattering photo.

With the help of a devoted staff, you'd think the President of the United States could easily find a nice-fitting tuxedo. Not so! A long parade of stiff, boxy suits burdened the White House, with only the size of lapels and collars changing. Bad hygiene afflicted some other presidents - possibly even killing a few. And virtually nobody was safe from looks that were trendy at the time, and laughably dated a few years later. President Obama is no stranger to criticism over his fashion choices - a trait he shares with many, many presidents before him.

Here are 15 of the worst, lamest moments in presidential style.
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Ronald Reagan's Sweatpants and Tie Combo


Ronald Reagan's Sweatpants... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Terrible Moments in Presidential Style
Photo: via Tumblr
The top says "important meeting with powerful people." The bottom says "I've given up."
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Bill Clinton's Running Shorts


Bill Clinton's Running Sho... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Terrible Moments in Presidential Style
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So much thigh. So much gleaming thigh.
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Ronald Reagan's "Serpico" Look


Ronald Reagan's "Serpi... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Terrible Moments in Presidential Style
Photo: via Tumblr
The perfect attire for a relaxed day on the Ranch, or the Gipper's Lou Reed impersonator audition.
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Richard Nixon's Capitol Police Uniforms


Richard Nixon's Capitol Po... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Terrible Moments in Presidential Style
Photo: via Tumblr
After being admonished by UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Nixon ordered the Capitol Police outfitted in new uniforms based on those worn by a European honor guard. What he got was a cross between high school marching band, Italian traffic cops, and cruise ship stewards. They were quickly ditched, and bought by a marching band. Obviously.