rolling in the veep

Everyone Agrees: Paul Ryan’s Style Is Awkward

Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan. Photo: Adrin Snider/Newport News Daily Press/MCT/Getty Images

Now that Americans have had a couple days to mull over Paul Ryan and the novelty of his pomaded widow’s peak (oh, and hey, P90X sales are up!), the reviews of his wardrobe choices are in, and they’re not good. Long story short, his clothes are too big, and he should get a good tailor so the world can ogle his abs more freely (and stop likening his suit to a garbage bag, as Esquire’s Kurt Soller did). While clueless dressing might be an “everyman” move, let’s be honest: No one wants to see a perfectly attractive guy wearing awkward dad pants while he talks about budgets on TV. (On a positive note, everyone shares this opinion. Unity!) We have rounded up the most damning — i.e., entertaining — descriptions of his wardrobe, below.  [Update: The Cut’s Kat Stoeffel defends Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin shoes.]

“Weak and overweight”:

His jacket is big and ill-fitting and makes him look older than 42. He should buy something more contemporary instead of trying to please Joe the Plumber … The incredibly boxy silhouette does nothing to enhance his potentially powerful physique. It makes him look weak and overweight … Believe it or not, he’s wearing square-toe dress shoes, one of the most grievous mistakes a man can make. [WWD]

“Linebacker-like” [Editor’s note: In fashion, that’s a bad thing.]:

[H]ere was a guy who chose a trash-bag black suit with a silhouette that would be great — if you were Herman Munster. There is something linebacker-like about those shoulders. Or, more symbolically, like trying to wear Dad’s suit. [Kurt Soller, Esquire]


Like many American suit wearers, I think he suffers from the misconception that the size a guy wears directly correlates with his masculinity. In their minds, being a 42 is more manly than a 40. And yet what actually happens when a guy wears something too big is the obvious: he looks smaller, dwarfed by shoulders that are too big, a shirt collar that is too roomy, lapels that are too wide.  [T Magazine’s Bruce Pask, quoted in the NYT]


Ryan … appeared rumpled, slightly sloppy for a vice-presidential candidate. As if he’d flown in hours before and mistakenly picked up someone else’s suitcase. His pants sagged at his ankles … His dark jacket drooped, better suited for a man of the cloth than a man on a presidential ticket … How could a fitness buff with 6 to 8 percent body fat wear a suit that looked two sizes too big? [Katherine Boyle, WP]

“Like Tom Hanks in Big“:

So much for his lethal six-pack. He was swimming in his coat, like Tom Hanks in ‘Big’ when he becomes a kid again. [Cathy Horyn, NYT]


Paul Ryan is now A Vice Presidential Candidate — circumstances under which any well-meaning Midwestern man would want to wear a tie. So you have to wonder why, exactly, he ditched the knot … it’s smug for these two men to assume they’re above dressing well… Imagine if you, or I, chose to wear a polo shirt to interview for a position in the CEO suite. Asshole move. [Kurt Soller, Esquire]

A comparison of Ryan and Romney’s pants, for good measure. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images