There is a legal debate going on in the USA about whether one should be allowed to wear political attire in or around the polling places. The recent elections in the USA caused many legal challenges regarding the rules of wearing political attire near the places where people vote.
We want to extend the debate to set the rules of how a gentleman should dress to express a particular political affiliation in any circumstances. There is a common sense saying that if you want to be accepted in polite company, one should avoid discussions of money, religion, and politics. Talk about sex all you like, who is bopping whom, and spread all the latest gossip even at formal events as long as you are discreet in your tone.
No one will raise an eyebrow. But venture into a discussion about how much money someone has or doesn’t have, or what religious faith or political candidate or political party is better than another one and you have crossed the line from proper decorum to complete rudeness bordering on insanity. The mere mention in USA that you are an Obama fan or you think George Bush was the best president America ever had and you are bound to start an argument that could end in a fist fight. In polite society we avoid discussing such things.
If you are at a political rally, feel free to wear any kind of political stuff you want and of course the sillier the better. The cheap Styrofoam hats that look like something worn to a barbershop quarter sing-a-along seem to be fashion de rigueur. They have removal bands for party affiliations that wrap around the brim of the hat so if you change your mind and want to switch parties all you have to do is change the banner around the brim and you’re all set.
Don’t forget to wear an oversize button of your favorite candidate saying something prophetic like “Yes, we do” or “My opponent is dodo” or whatever is the most popular phrase at the time. There is no fashion sense to this political attire in this setting – go crazy and make a big purple sign to match your outfit in chartreuse. The only trouble you might have is wearing the opposition candidate stuff and trying to crash the opposing party’s event. Expect to be clobbered by the crowd if you do that.
Outside of the political arena, after you escape from the ugly fashion tsunamis at these events, is there a way to make an appropriate fashionable and politically correct statement? Yes there is. The proper way to show your affiliation is done with taste, refinement and a little subtly. This is achieved by a man wearing a nice lapel pin.
On your otherwise modest and conservative dress suit, you can adorn yourself with a single label pin that shows your political ideas. This is appropriate for any event. It can be a ribbon lapel pin showing awareness for breast cancer, Aids, or the military vets. It can be a flag, a party symbol or your business association, club or membership. You are free to put any single lapel pin on your dress suit as you desire.
The politeness of this men’s fashion statement, is that if anyone wishes to discuss this topic with you, they make the first move to ask you about your pin. Otherwise you do not have the permission to discuss it. People who recognize the symbols and disagree with your perspective are cautioned not to ask you about it, so that the party stays civil and all have a wonderful time.
Hendrik likes to write about style and fashion. Especially formal mens fashion is his expertise. He also founded the mens tie shop: Mens-ties.com/ – a site for mens ties, bow ties, cufflinks, and neckties.