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All The Presidents' Pants

The presidents of the United States have always put their pants on just like the rest of us, but haven't always worn the same pants we wear today, or the same pants as each other.

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George Washington

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Washington opted for homespun woolen knee breeches at his inauguration, in stark contrast to the opulent clothing of contemporary European heads of state.

James Monroe

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His “Monroe Doctrine” set the trend for 200 years of American foreign policy, but his fashion choices were less influential. Monroe insisted on wearing outdated knee breeches not popular since the 18th century, while his cabinet members all wore the more fashionable long trousers.

John Quincy Adams

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Adams is known for his efforts in modernizing America’s economy and education. While he was at it, he also updated the presidential pants from unfashionable breeches to stylish long trousers and was the first President to wear them at an inauguration.

Andrew Johnson

Blackbird Label / Via ourwhitehouse.org

Often considered “America’s worst president,” this Tennessean tailor turned Commander in Chief was probably the only president to sew his own trousers. He was also the first President to be impeached. Apparently, Congress wasn’t very impressed by his needlework.

Chester Arthur

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Inheriting the presidency from the assassinated James Garfield, “Elegant Arthur” went straight to work. His first order of business was to completely redecorate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After finishing his Extreme Makeover: White House Edition, the second order of business was to sell all the old furniture to buy a wardrobe big enough for his 80 pairs of pants.

Teddy Roosevelt

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An avid equestrian, Roosevelt often wore a type of riding pants called “jodhpurs,” which to modern eyes bear an uncanny resemblance to “Hammer pants.”

Howard Taft

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Weighing over 300 pounds, the 27th president’s girth made it difficult to fit into any pair of pants with a waist size smaller than 54. He also had a hard time fitting in the White House bathtub and had it replaced with an extra large one.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Blackbird Label / Via smithsonianmag.com

“Everything’s bigger in Texas.” For Texas-born Lyndon Johnson this saying also applied to his inseam. He was even recorded on an Oval Office telephone call explaining to his tailor that his next pair of pants be made with “an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me; it's just like riding a wire fence.”

Ronald Reagan

Blackbird Label / Via edition.cnn.com

Reagan’s fondness for bold colors and patterns once caused waves of sartorial shock all across Europe by wearing slacks made of blue-and-gray plaid. Many considered them “unpresidential.”

Donald Trump

Blackbird Label / Via time.com

Love him or hate him for it, Trump is certainly not afraid to reject the status quo. This statement applies to his fashion choices, as POTUS 45 has forgone today’s popular slim-fitting suit pants in favor of boxy, loose-fitting slacks. Perhaps he’s leaving space for some of these bad boys.

Hillary Clinton - Honorable Mention

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Despite not making it to the White House, Hillary Clinton deserves some recognition as the nation’s first female, major-party nominee, as well as for her iconic pant suits.

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