Ditch the baggy suit, fashion experts advise Ryan

Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:37pm EDT
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By Andy Sullivan

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - Paul Ryan is preparing for the biggest speech of his career on Wednesday, when he will accept the Republican vice presidential nomination in front of a television audience of tens of millions of voters.

Style experts hope he'll find some time to do some clothes shopping as well.

Ryan's budget-cutting plan has made him one of the most polarizing figures in U.S. politics, but many of those who know fashion agree on one thing: The man needs serious help with his wardrobe.

When Mitt Romney added Ryan to the Republican ticket this month, fashion experts panned the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman's duck-billed loafers, floppy shirt collars and baggy suits.

GQ, the men's magazine, called Ryan's boxy black suit a "suburban dad special," while Esquire compared it to a trash bag. Women's Wear Daily called his choice of square-toed shoes "one of the most grievous mistakes a man can make."

Ryan looks "like a boy wearing his father's suit," said Jesse Thorn, editor of the menswear blog Put This On.

Ryan probably won't need the support of fashionistas to win the vice presidency on November 6, but some clothing experts wonder whether voters might conclude that a man who wears suits that seem to be a couple of sizes too large isn't ready to be one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

"If the suit's too big for him, it seems like the job is too big for him," said Laurie Graham, a Los Angeles image consultant who works with business clients.   Continued...

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with his vice presidential running mate, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) during a campaign event in Ashland, Virginia August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton