Apparently they’re not excited about the crease in his pants. Unable to come up with a policy “gotcha” on GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan, it’s time to apply some fashion sense and ridicule the clothes he wears.
The man from Janesville, Wis., was hoisted onto the love pedestal, a nerd suddenly out of his loafers and into the sex dreams of Republicans, who apparently, unlike Democrats, need this kind of thing. The Web site Politico worked up a complete Ryan hot sheet, noting his “dreamy bedroom eyes” and “buff” body, while TMZ, brandishing a photo of the congressman and his trainer, called him “the hottest vice-presidential candidate ever.”
Yeah, I may have developed a bit of a mancrush on Ryan, but nothing sexual.
But one thing bugged me about Mr. Ryan’s appearance on the day of the announcement in Virginia, on the symbolic deck of a battleship. He had on a blazer with an open-neck shirt and dark trousers; Mr. Romney was in his familiar shirt sleeves and a tie. Polished but relaxed. Yet if Mr. Ryan was chosen to bring youth and vigor and a kind of Ayn Rand boldness to the G.O.P., as the commentators kept saying, then his jacket was killing it.
So much for his lethal six-pack. He was swimming in his coat, like Tom Hanks in “Big” when he becomes a kid again.
I asked my colleague Bruce Pask, the men’s fashion editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, for his thoughts on Mr. Ryan’s sizing problem. In an e-mail, he said: “Like many American suit wearers, I think he suffers from the misconception that the size a guy wears directly correlates with his masculinity. In their minds, being a 42 is more manly than a 40. And yet what actually happens when a guy wears something too big is the obvious: he looks smaller, dwarfed by shoulders that are too big, a shirt collar that is too roomy, lapels that are too wide.”
Even casually, guys should really avoid that baggy look. You know what I mean? Like mom jeans. Avoid them whatever you do. And never, never look like a total dork. Your image will never recover.
The Washington Post, famous for Watergate reporting, now also brings us an in-depth look on what Ryan is wearing. They have no idea what his policies are all about, but sure can ridicule what he wears. Whatever it takes in the media jihad, I guess.
But Ryan (Wis.) appeared rumpled, slightly sloppy for a vice-presidential candidate. As if he’d flown in hours before and mistakenly picked up someone else’s suitcase. His pants sagged at his ankles. His starched, white shirt bunched at his stomach. His dark jacket drooped, better suited for a man of the cloth than a man on a presidential ticket.
Ryan, a high-ranking House Republican, known as a stickler for numbers and a devotee of hard-core workouts, seemed oddly unconcerned about the clothes he wore during the most important announcement of his political career. How could a fitness buff with 6 to 8 percent body fat wear a suit that looked two sizes too big?
Oddly unconcerned. In other words, he doesn’t give a shit what they think. He could come out in a tank top and gym shorts for all I care. We’re facing fiscal calamity and he might be able to help. That’s all most of us care about.
You know what these folks want? Ryan to be made over with $5,000 suits and a slicked back hair so they can drum up some new outrage. Sound familiar?
In Ryan’s case, styling himself as a baggy-suited newcomer aligned with the party’s conservatives may be a wise strategy for the campaign. And it may steer Ryan away from the disaster that accompanied Sarah Palin’s 2008 wardrobe scandal, when financial disclosure records revealed that the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on her clothing — which occurred after Lisa A. Kline was hired to handle Palin’s campaign makeover.
It’s clearly a sign of media desperation that they’ll sink to such childish antics already. You know if Ryan came out looking like a model they’d find fault with it and wonder why he’s not your Casual Joe from Wisconsin. If he even bothers to read this drivel–and he doesn’t strike me as someone who gives a rat’s ass what the media thinks–he must be left chuckling.