The new November issue of GQ features a roundup of world leaders’ fashion sense. But it’s a big world out there, and the magazine couldn’t accommodate all the leaders of interest. We were able to only accommodate about a Gulfstream-5-full in print. But here on the Internet, that treeless frontier that’s virtually as boundless as space, we could keep going until we got tired. So here’s a look, in three installments, at fourteen more heads of state. Just because they didn’t make our first cut doesn’t mean they can’t start World War III.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran
The feisty former school teacher is the first casual-Friday head of state, and he’s serious about it: no neckties in his entourage. Otherwise he seems to not care about clothes. His tend to be baggy and often unseasonably pastel. Very mix and mismatch. There’s a Kucinich-y innocence to his style, but I can’t help wanting to dress him in Thom Browne. Neatness counts, even in a theocracy.
Gordon Brown, U.K.
After the buttoned-up, almost mod Tony Blair he’s a bit of a mess, but he’s his own mess. His rumple reminds me of Jimmy Breslin’s—tie’s always a bit off, he forgets his stays, visible T-shirt. It probably helps; his obvious imperfection gives the impression of honesty. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan
He’s no puppet, but he is a bit of a mannequin. He has superb personal style and he pulls off the East/West fusion better than anyone. He has great color sense and a strong feel for tonality. I wonder if the robe is bulletproof.
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain
The Spanish president shows just how easy it is to dress well. It’s all about keeping it simple. He wears classic suits, usually wears white shirts, and has subtle taste in ties. His shoes are elegantly trim, worthy of a banker.
He doesn’t do casual, but knows when to take off the tie and when to give it a nice big knot.
He could be the best-dressed elected head of state. Nothing flashy, no gimmicks, just good tailoring and consistent, quiet good taste. That’s so Spanish. Europe’s best kept secret.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus
Basically, he looks and dresses like Hal Linden on Barney Miller. Not much to satellite-phone home about. But his military look is really over the top. I’m sure his absurdly huge service cap was inspired by Mel Brooks’s Space Balls.
Don’t miss: Part Two and Part Three in Glenn’s series
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