Tuesday marks the end of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. During the summit, leaders from countries who have a coast on the Pacific gather to discuss important economic matters and pressing issues.
Here, President Barack Obama prepares to discuss the idea of personal space with Russian President Vladimir Putin
They are then forced to pose in what is actually referred to as a “family photo” while wearing the host country’s garments of choice. Here is the ranking of the best of these amazing costumes over the years.
23. 2011 — Vladivostok, Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin was the first to violate the cardinal rule of APEC’s pictures, in place since 1993: No ties. The tradition was supposed to better foster a sense of trust among the members.
22. 2015 — Manila, Philippines
If you were expecting a thrilla in Manila, today is not a great day for you. Because this is a whole checklist of things that APEC pictures should try to avoid. Ties? Check. Plain old dark suits? Check. People unsure of whether they should be waving or not? Check.
20. 2010 — Yokohama, Japan
Staid suits (but at least with no ties) marked the first time in years that there was no “traditional” outfit for the world leaders. BORING.
19. 1999 — New Auckland, New Zealand
Was this really the best you could do, New Zealand?
18. 1997 — Vancouver, Canada
Matching jackets? Dull.
17. 1995 — Osaka, Japan
Are you actively trying to be boring, Japan? Because you’re succeeding.
16. 2009 — Singapore
A solid effort from Singapore, but nothing to write home about.
15. 2000 — Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei Darussalam
This year’s summit was at a polo club, so you have to be a little bummed that the leaders weren’t made to wear polo shirts.
13. 2005 — Los Cabos, Mexico
The guayabera shirts are great, but the overall outfit has something of a waitstaff feel to it.
12. 1993 — Seattle, United States
The first year that the “no ties” rule was in effect, Clinton opted to keep it simple with leather bomber jackets for everyone. To be fair, Seattle’s grunge look in the early 1990s probably wouldn’t have gone over too well. But Chinese President Jiang Zemin in plaid would’ve been so good.
11. 1996 — Subic, Philippines
The white, tieless shirts called barong tagalog look really easy and wearable but aren’t all that eye-catching.
10. 2005 — Busan, South Korea
The traditional Korean overcoats, called durumaki, worn this year are awesome if for no other reason than the intricate knots holding them closed.
9. 1998 — Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Vice President Al Gore doesn’t look very comfortable in his traditional Malaysian batik shirt, but that kind of makes the picture better.
8. 2003 — Bangkok, Thailand
The silk shirt game in Thailand is on point.
7. 2006 — Hanoi, Vietnam
The flowing traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai clothes’ bright fabrics are fantastic.
6. 2014 — Beijing, China
China’s choice this year of traditional silk shirt for the male leaders drew comparisons to Star Trek uniforms. They also look ridiculously comfy.
4. 1994 — Bogor, Indonesia
You wear that Indonesian shirt, Bill Clinton.
3. 2001 — Shanghai, China
Yes. Just yes.
2. 2004 — Santiago, Chile
1. 2008 — Lima, Peru
The only thing that could top Chile’s ponchos? Peru’s ponchos.
These rankings have been adjusted accordingly after correcting an earlier version of this post where the photo for the Sydney meeting originally showed that year’s Finance Ministers Meeting. Peru’s ponchos remain number one.
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