A Libertarian’s Anti-Style as High Style

At the Daily Beast, Isabel Wilkinson writes of Ron Paul’s clothes that

In lopsided jackets many sizes too big, trousers so baggy they could pass as harem pants, and black orthopedic “referee” sneakers, Paul has distinguished himself during election season as the least sartorial of the bunch. He greeted Iowans last summer in a lime-green golf shirt with thick black stripes, tucked in a short-sleeved madras shirt for a television interview, and donned tan hiking boots with suit pants onstage for the Ames Straw Poll.

I’ve been critical of Paul for not being libertarian enough (his ‘newsletter problem’) and critical of other candidates for their unfashionable attire, but I’ll defend Paul here – his anti-style is so pronounced it’s a style all its own.

It is, after all, the English philosopher and musician Adam Ant who correctly observed that

We don’t follow fashion
That would be a joke
You know we’re gonna set them, set them
So ev’ryone can take note, take note.

I like Paul’s confidence, so deep that he wears what he wants, when he wants. (Paul reminds me of Nat Hentoff this way.)

In Paul’s case, his anti-style is high style.

That’s true fashion.

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