All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Gifts with a Presidents Day twist: American All-Star

February 15, 2011 |  8:29 am

There’s one style move in the world that never fails to set an American apart: clunky, often glaringly white, sneakers. Like it or not, they’re an inherent part of our culture’s laid-back lifestyle and our commander-in-chief’s sporty wardrobe -- as are sweats, tees, windbreakers, et al.

Barack While practicality and comfort tend to trump fashion for many Americans, President Obama has finely crafted his land-of-the-free look into a mostly winning style sensibility. Both on and off the first-ever White House basketball court, he’s regularly spotted in a neutral uniform of basketball sneaks, tees, sweats and caps by brands such as Nike and The North Face. From the Weatherproof windbreaker down to his flip-flops, Obama’s fashion choices have taken presidential fashion to a whole new level of casual.

But Jimmy Carter made a similar “of the people” fashion statement in his Mr. Rogers cardi. And for the record, there’s a long history of very affordable First Windbreakers, dating back to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had their names embroidered on theirs (Bush even added a presidential seal – there was no mistaking who was boss).

NIke-wmn341297_103_AWe think a president dressed to suggest he might sweat (who wouldn’t, in his shoes?) along with a first lady known for her abs and her equally impressive efforts to fight child obesity, is pretty boss, too. We just might add a bit of Born in the U.S.A. color— say, the his-and-hers Windrunner jackets at top and at right  (a timeless 1980s style with just a teeny bit of retro edge) from one of the president’s favorite labels ($80 each at

--Ingrid Schmidt

Photos: Top and right, his and her windbreakers. Photo credit: Nike.

Middle, President Obama and staffers play basketball at Martha's Vineyard in 2009. Credit: Pete Souza/EPA

Wednesday: A tie vote