Signature Presidential Outfits Throughout History

Signature Presidential Outfits Throughout History

The Presidential Outfit

When you’re the President of the United States, you almost have an obligation to look the part as the leader of the free country as well. Aside from politics, the look and style of the POTUS has been distinct to each who has taken that mantle over the past two centuries. Since Presidents’ Day lands later this month, we want to take this opportunity to highlight some of our presidents’  signature outfits while in office. As Pico Cleaners is a high quality dry cleaner that emphasizes perfectly fitted suits and a clean look, we are passionate about what these men wore and the story behind it. We handpicked several presidential outfits that amazed us the most, here they are.

George Washington

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First, we will discuss General George Washington’s signature uniform: his revolutionary era blue wool coat with buff wool rise-and-fall collar, buff cuffs, and lapels. The waistcoat has matching buff wool with the trousers and equipped with glit (gilded gold) buttons. This uniform was consistently worn by Washington from 1789 until 1799, the time of his death.  This uniform is well known for being worn in many of Washington’s life portraits. He often wore this uniform when he was commanding the Continental army. During the Revolutionary War, the uniform of the troops were donned in buff and blue in commemoration of Washington’s appearance.



Abraham Lincoln

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Arguably, one of the most famous presidential looks was from none other than Mr. Lincoln. His signature look was with the black wool double-breasted frock coat, shawl-collared vest, black wool trousers, and of course, his hat. This was his main office suit during his presidency and until his death at Ford’s Theatre. Let’s not forget his famous black overcoat. This overcoat was hand-quilted and double-breasted and made of fine wool and silk. In honor of his second inauguration, the famous clothing manufacturer Brooks Brothers made this coat especially for Mr. Lincoln. After his death, Lincoln’s suit was separately donated to the Smithsonian and Ford’s Theater where it would be on display for many years.

John F. Kennedy

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JFK was the epitome when it came to stylish presidential looks. Most of his suits were tailored from Brooks Brothers; the suit, from the jacket and pants, was consistently slim as the shoulder involved little padding. The majority of JFK’s suits were cut like a paddock suit (two-button front, two outside flap pockets and a ticket flap pocket) with an elevated closing button. During his presidency, he mostly wore dark blue or grey because he wanted the perception of a trusting statesman. His dress shirts were usually solid white with some instances in light blue or striped. His collar was seemingly always of a classic point. On the shirt, he would also wear double cuffs. His signature additions to his suit were silk ties and black or brown captoe oxford shoes.

Barack Obama

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The 44th POTUS is someone who believes that consistency will help clear your mind. Obama seemingly wears practically the same suit every day. According to an interview with Vanity Fair, Obama stated “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits, I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” His suit is made from high-end brands like the NY based Hickey Freeman. The wear of Obama’s suit is usually slim and well-tailored. Also according to Martin Greenfield, Obama’s presidential tailor, he said that Obama preferred soft Italian fabrics for his handmade suits. Greenfield also supplied him with pleated and non-pleated pants.




Take Care of Your Suit

The presidential outfit is an item of the president’s possession that is always well-tailored and well taken care of. There isn’t a single signature suit or uniform that culminates to the ultimate suit, but rather there have been trends throughout the history of our Presidents that included elements of the presidential outfits that we mentioned above. Pico Cleaners is a dry cleaner that offers alterations, repair, and resizing for all kinds of fabrics. For suits, we ensure that your suit will be maintained, crisp, and refreshing. We can also help make sure that your suit fits you to the best of its ability like the presidents from the past and today. Make your way to Pico Cleaners on 9150 W Pico Blvd today!


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