Ray-Bans, Rep Ties & Buttondowns: The “Style” Of Rand Paul


Is Rand Paul the coolest/squarest/hip-to-be-squarest politician so far in the 2016 presidential race?

While he’s yet to be spotted in JFK’s Nantucket reds, or GHWB’s striped watchbands and J. Press suits, Rand’s wardrobe has the tradly touches of buttondown collars, conventional striped ties, and gold-buttoned navy blazers.

That’s pretty unusual for a pol in the national spotlight, where all of them sport the American Boardroom look of blue suit, white shirt with moderate-spread collar, and shiny tie in random pop color. With presumably an army of advisers, Paul will no doubt make his wardrobe more generic as he gets more air time.

Paul is known for another style quirk that harkens back to our 35th president: he’s more than willing to be photographed in sunglasses, and has a special fondness for Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

However, recently Luxottica, parent company of Ray-Ban, asked Paul to stop selling Wayfarers with his own branding on them (i.e. his name). The shades were being hawked on Paul’s website with the tagline “the intersection of politics and cool,” an intersection that, try as they might, has never actually been found on any map.

Final note: lest Ivy Style be accused of endorsing one political party over the other, “style” was put in quotation marks in the headline. When it comes to politicians and clothes, the term “style” should always be used loosely. — CC





25 Comments on "Ray-Bans, Rep Ties & Buttondowns: The “Style” Of Rand Paul"

  1. Cue AEV rant in 3, 2, 1….

  2. Sigh. It would be so nice if more our politicians (and political hopefuls) were more interesting/discerning in their apparel. The sometimes ill-fitting and bland boardroom clothes have been done to death in recent decades. And let’s not even talk about the various permutations we see of the hackneyed ‘I’m just a regular joe like you’ dress down whatever, presented during key Kodak moments.

    Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke

  3. I would say Bernie Sanders is more trad than any presidential hopeful currently on the ballot. And I doubt Bernie will start wearing more standard clothing as the Democratic primary nears.

  4. See also Bernie Sanders and Lincoln Chafee.

  5. Christian | May 5, 2015 at 11:58 am |

    I knew people would chime in with politicians I haven’t heard of. Maybe we should make it Presidential Hopeful Week?

  6. @MCH

    Good call on Bernie Sanders.I came across this a few days ago – is that a Shaggy Dog he’s wearing?


  7. Pols dress like garbage in ill fitting suits with awful ties or mom jeans and sneakers to “relate” to the average person. We can all thank Davey Crockett for starting that revolution for his average Joe style of politics. You would think they would dress more trad or better in general to make people aspire to be like they, but oh well.
    Will we see another Kennedy style pol? Maybe. I’ll run so we can… haha

    As for Bernie Sanders and Lincoln Chafee I don’t want to make this at all political so I’ll stay away from that.

  8. Vern Trotter | May 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm |

    Lee Atwater, the GOP consultant from South Carolina, had GHWB ditch the striped watch bands, turquoise glasses frames, Top Siders and Shaggy Dogs straight away. He knew what the electorate would think.

    Paul is more in touch with average people, being an opthamologist and has dealt with the hoi polo as patients/customers. Look for him not to change. He will have trouble enough with his goofy libertarian foreign policy!

  9. Vern Trotter | May 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm |

    Obviously meant hoi polloi. Spellcheck again!

  10. Christian | May 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm |

    I think you need more than spellcheck. Tortoise glasses or turqoise?

  11. How about “bored-room” look for today’s political class?

  12. M Arthur | May 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm |

    Get the man a comb!

  13. Vern Trotter | May 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm |

    Hard for me to post while on the bus, talking to the driver. Sorry.

  14. @Christian–I think Bernie Sanders is pretty well known. Or maybe that is an assumption I make as a former Vermonter who would be more than happy to vote for him again.

  15. Bags' Groove | May 6, 2015 at 10:29 am |

    Anyone who thinks ties are an unnecessary encumbrance should contrast Rand’s dapper look with the look of this merry band: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article3795408.ece

  16. @JGH keep your socialist garbage in VT, sincerely the rest of the country.

  17. Christian | May 6, 2015 at 11:33 am |

    Food fight!

  18. I respect both Rand and Bernie for being (relatively) principled politicians. I doubt the country is ready for either, but they do both care for the nation, in their own ways, very much.

    In trad news – any word on Richard Press’ memoir?

  19. Anonymous | May 6, 2015 at 3:07 pm |

    Logo shirt, especially with a tie, for “business” wear- NO.

  20. D.P.S.IV | May 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm |

    @ Anonymous… He’s not in business wear, he’s in casual wear hence the blazer… If he were in a suit I would agree but with a blazer and slacks, you need to stop taking yourself so serious and go back to total frat move.

  21. damn- weird world when republicans dress cooler than dems…

  22. What’s the ivy take on pant suits? 🙂

  23. How about faux buckskin dresses with plastic beads?

  24. D.P.S.IV | May 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm |

    @Jordan, after looking at the hyperlink that is your name, I advise you first look into the history of the US and who is and is not GOP. IE Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Dean Martin, etc…

  25. His son William Paul is clearly a hooligan now. Perhaps this is owing to his departure from the ivy style manner of dress.

    Please browse through the following photographs for an illustrated history of his sartorial decline :



    If Senator Paul can’t guide his son correctly then how can he be commander in chief ?

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