All The Rage

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Barack Obama challenges Washington's business-suit culture

February 2, 2009 |  8:29 am


Looks like Michelle Obama isn't the only one with an eye on fashion.

Barack Obama is shaking things up by challenging the supremacy of the business suit in the one town in America where a suit still equals power. According to several reports, casual Friday style is becoming everyday style in the Obama White House, with the president encouraging staffers to take off their jackets, even in the Oval Office. (Lord knows they have enough work to do; they need to get comfortable and roll up their sleeves, even though that won't do much to help suit sales.)

In an interview with Matt Lauer on "Today," Obama broke with the suit-and-tie uniform again and wore a casual button-down shirt sans tie. It was a Sunday afternoon and Obama was hanging at home before the Super Bowl, but it was yet another indicator of the dawn of a more relaxed Washington wardrobe.

Besides reflecting Obama's easygoing nature, the casual approach to dressing sets him apart visually from the corrupt "suits," the CEOs and Wall Street opportunists that he's trying to bring down to earth.

Do you think Obama's casual style is appropriate for the White House?

-- Booth Moore

Photo: President Obama, sans jacket, meets with National Security Advisor James Jones, center, in the Oval Office last month. Credit: EPA / Pete Souza