Over the past few days, you may have found yourself thinking, “Why, is that a gingham sail or is it one of Paul Ryan’s shirts?” Unless you were somewhere *really* preppy, it was probably just one of Ryan’s shirts. Wherever he goes, there they are those shirts, folding over the waistbands of his baggy pants while he gestures at a sea of Romney posters.
Or bunching up around the belly button when he weeps on stage.
They crinkle just about everywhere when he walks around the big Romney bus.
Mostly, it’s the fabric overhang in the back that gives away this common fashion problem. His shirts are like cupcake frosting — minus all the fat, of course.
And occasionally a cellular device clipped to the waistband reminds us of just how oversized and mushroom-y this man’s shirts can get.
But he is blessed (plagued?) with a tall, thin figure, the latter thanks to his rigorous P90X workouts. It’s not easy to find clothes — especially dress shirts — that fit when you’re 6’ 2” tall, weigh 163 pounds, and pack just about 6 percent body fat, which is how The Week sums up Ryan’s figure. Shirts with long enough sleeves will inevitably fit too baggy, unless you find a tailor to take them in on the sides. (I once knew a guy with zero homemaking skills and beefy shoulders who bought a sewing machine to take in his dress shirts at the waist, so this is really a very easy tailoring job that shouldn’t cost much.)
Ryan’s modelesque proportions leave him even bigger tailoring problems when it comes to his suiting.
Miley Cyrus would wear this jacket as a dress.
It’s all his jackets, though. When he waves, you can see the extra room at the armpits, in the sleeves, and everywhere else. Needless to say, Tom Ford would not approve.
Lighter suiting brings out the roominess of the fit even more than the dark.
From the back, you can tell which one is Romney and which one is Ryan just by the cut of their trousers.
Ryan’s on the left if you couldn’t tell.
But sometimes he gets it right! Here, the cut of the pants is spot-on. See how they shoes make them break at the ankle, just so?
And to his credit, longer jackets and interesting proportions can be quite a big fashion statement in menswear.
A spring 2013 look by preeminent menswear designer Thom Browne.
As can shrunken ties.
With President Bush in July of ‘06.
But overall, Ryan has a long way to go with his fashion. (And it’s nothing to feel bad about — President Obama is famous for his dad jeans.) Since Ryan pretty much definitely is not going to get fatter or THAT much more buff to fill out these clothes, he might want to look into a tailor. I’d normally recommend something like Diesel jeans — a brand I’ve seen work remarkably well on his exact body type — but he can’t wear foreign brands or spend much on his clothes (which also automatically omits suits by Tom Ford, who is American but who charges thousands of dollars for everything he makes).
And maybe it’s good that his clothes don’t fit. Americans aren’t used to their politicians — people who represent them — having bodies like Gisele. So Ryan’s terribly fitting clothes might just help him connect by hiding that physique.
Update: Ryan’s spokesman Michael Steel emails: “The American people are asking, where are the fitted shirts?” BuzzFeed Shift is on the case.
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