- In the time since his term ended, former President Barack Obama has often worn a uniform of a black suit with a white shirt, sans tie.
- This outfit was likely picked for the impression it gives: serious, but not overly so.
- With this lens, Obama’s post-presidency intentions come into focus.
Not many people called into jury duty stroll in wearing a suit, but former President Barack Obama does.
As a highly public figure, it’s obvious that Obama cares about his appearance and the image he’s projecting. In the last year, he’s settled on a uniform — clean black suit, pressed white shirt, and no tie — and he’s rarely deviated from it.
Notably, he’s usually sans flag pin, but he does still wear it when stumping for a Democratic candidate or appearing with other ex-presidents.
Most recently, we saw Obama’s uniform when he showed up for jury duty in downtown Chicago (and was quickly dismissed for obvious reasons). But we also saw it when he was heading into a meeting on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, when he was on stage at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, and when he appeared at the One America Appeal benefit concert in October.
Sometimes he swaps out white shirts for blue, and when it’s more appropriate to wear a tie, he still does.
As Obama has shed his casual vacation attire from earlier this year and gotten down to the business of being an ex-president, he’s busied himself with projects like getting his eponymous foundation off the ground, stumping for fellow Democrats, and speaking at festivals and fundraisers.
The new style is a universal sign of ex-presidents that says, “I’m off-duty, but I’ve still got to look the part.”
Still, Obama has made it his own. He’s by far the youngest of the living ex-presidents, and his suits have a sharper, better-tailored appearance than those of his counterparts. It’s an appearance that has kept up with fashion trends and says that he still has more left in the tank — just maybe not in politics.
The dropping of the American flag pin in some instances indicates a desire to stay out of the political limelight — for now, anyway.
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