JFK Buttoned Down

Today is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ birthday (she would have been 82), and obliquely in her honor we present a photo of her late husband captured wearing a buttondown collar, which he eschewed upon entering the national spotlight, saying they were “too Ivy League.” — CC

22 Comments on "JFK Buttoned Down"

  1. This photo is a reversal or he had suits with buttons on the wrong side. Which is it, internets?

  2. ^ Reversal.

  3. Christian | July 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    Does that mean the stripes would be going the other way?

  4. First photo I’ve ever seen of JFK wearing a buttondown shirt.

    Perhaps some sleuth out there can identify the brand from the button placement, spread, and length of the collar points.

    P.S. Is that J. Edgar Hoover in the background, plotting JFK’s downfall?

  5. Jim Kelleth | July 29, 2011 at 2:40 am |

    Since the photo is reversed, the stripes in the tie are going in the direction of an English, not an American, tie. A surprising choice for an Irishman. Maybe it comes from his father’s time as ambassador.

    Odd, too, that Obama wear ties in the English fashion since he despises all things British.

  6. This is a horrible photograph of him. His hair looks like a wig. His skin is blotchy and orange.

  7. You have to keep in mind that the guy got a bullet in the spine in WW2 and had Addison’s disease. He constantly wore a back brace under his jackets.

  8. The gentleman at the left in the photo seems to be wearing the identical tie to that of JFK, except with copper-colored, rather than gold stripes.

    I wonder what became of the custom of referring to the U.S. President by his three initials. It seems to have been near-universal with JFK and LBJ, less so with RMN, then seemed to fade away.

  9. Michael Mattis | July 29, 2011 at 9:28 am |

    @Sal: He really looks like he’s in pain, shoulders all hunched up. Sad.

  10. That is Hoover in the background. No wonder JFK looks pained!!

  11. Spare a thought for poor old Hoover! J. Edgar would have been more comfortable in a dress.

  12. Typical politician: says one thing, does another.

  13. David Pope | July 30, 2011 at 1:44 am |

    He was an American hero who
    paid with his life.

  14. Anonymous | July 30, 2011 at 5:22 am |

    never got shot in spine.

  15. Boston Bean | July 30, 2011 at 8:47 am |

    JFK may not have liked OCBDs, but one must certainly give him credit for never wearing spread collars.

  16. I stand corrected. I thought his extensive spinal surgeries were due to his being directly hit. Still, had chronic back problems, Addison’s disease and possibly chronic pain issues.

  17. Chronic pain is a bitch. Can only imagine what he went through as pain management was in its infancy and people were expected to ‘man up’.

  18. JFK has always been one of my heros. If I remember correctly, he initially hurt his back while playing football. I don’t know whether it was high school or just a friendly game. But after the sinking of his PT boat, he swam towing a burned crew member behind him for several miles to a deserted island. After that, he swam to reefs and other nearby islands to seek help for his crew, some of whom were badly injured. This aggravated his back injuries to the max.

    In addition, he made love to literally hundreds of women in his lifetime. He even had “secretaries” who accompanied him in the White House pool during his nude swim romps while he was President. From what I’ve read, he was a vigorous slam bam thank you ma’am type of guy. That activity would aggravate any back injury.

    What a great guy!

  19. Christian | July 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm |

    Is that you Richard?

  20. Not a buttondown collar at all. Look carefully.

  21. Not a button down – that is the end of the collar stay poking through. Hoover in background to JFK’s right

  22. Vern Trotter | November 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm |

    According to Lem Billings, JFK’s closest friend, his five heros into his 20s were:
    Winston Churchill
    Lawrence of Arabia
    John Buchan
    Lord Byron
    Francis I
    Not an Irishman among. In fact, three were English, Buchan a Scot.

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