United States of Trad: John R. Bolton

It is time to put our political differences aside and celebrate the fact that “the look” is still alive (, but not well) in US politics. This edition of the United States of Trad pays tribute to one man that is keeping the trad flame burning. His name is John R. Bolton.

The son of a fireman, born in Baltimore, Maryland Bolton went on to attend Yale University. He has since spent his career in public service as well as working for prestigious law firms, think tanks, but is probably most well known for being the 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations (or perhaps for being a Fox News Channel Commentator).
John Bolton Repp TieIt is not Mr. Bolton’s accomplishments in the world of politics that has earned him a spot here, but rather his dress. I have never seen Bolton without an OCBD on (Yes, even when wearing a suit.), his selection of ties stays well within traditional guidelines (He primarily sports striped ties with the occasional neat or paisley mixed in.), and he often wears a 3/2 sack suit.
John Bolton Sack SuitJohn Bolton Sack Suit 2John Bolton tan SuitI do agree with that he would benefit from a few small wardrobe tweaks. The roll of his collar could be improved and his ties would look a lot better with a dimple, and we would all love to see him move to wearing exclusively 3/2 sack suits, but I think that this is just nitpicking.
John Bolton Crew Neck

There are very few politicians that continue to dress in this traditional  American manner. Mr. Bolton, however not only carries on this tradition on the national level, but on an international level working with leaders of the world wearing an OCBD with a suit and a repp tie and for that we salute him.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

6 Comments on "United States of Trad: John R. Bolton"

  1. D.L.Walter says:

    To quote from your article: (He primarily sports striped ties with the occasional neat or paisley mixed in.) What is a neat tie? I Googled images for a neat ties but, that didn’t help with my under standing as to any type of pattern or style a neat tie might be.

  2. oxford cloth button down says:

    Hi D. L.,

    Thanks for the comment. The tie he is wearing with the tan (olive) suit is a neat pattern.

    A neat pattern is a repeating pattern that can be flowers, geometric shapes, dots or pines. The word neat and foulard are used interchangeably.

    Here is more about neats and foulards: http://pinstripepulpit.com/rev-your-wardrobe-necktie-basics-part-3-foulards/

  3. mhj says:

    It’s my observation that generally Republicans are better dressed and more traditional than Democrats.

  4. A. K. Scull says:

    Howard Dean (D-VT) is a Dem who has kept the trad flame burning on the other side of the aisle. Always with an OCBD and repp tie.

  5. oxford cloth button down says:

    I think that there are trads on both side of the aisle. It would be interesting to see a breakdown based on OCBDs (or even button down collars) and Repp ties with heavily weighted bonus points for 3/2 anythings.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the most current Dem that has made the blog. He was trad as crap: http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2013/01/united-states-of-trad-daniel-patrick-moynihan/

  6. Hollywood Argyle says:

    As a public figure, John Bolton should have shaved off the walrus whiskers, which detract from his overall appearance. The problem is not the mustache itself, but the clash between the color of his head hair and the color—more accurately, the lack of color—of his mustache. He looks like a “Got Milk?” ad on steroids. In an era when the medium is the message, his appearance sends out a degraded message.

    Once his head hair turns white, then he can go back to looking like Wilford Brimley all he wants.

    Neat/foulard: Jerrod’s on the mark here. Originally, foulard referred to the thin silken material such ties were made of, just as cordovan originally referred to leather made from the rump of a horse. However, since the foulard material is so often printed with a small repeating (i.e., neat) pattern, the name for the material got muddled with the name for the pattern. In a similar fashion, since horse rump leather is most often dyed dark burgundy, and since that color was rare for calf i.e., cow leather), the name for the color got muddled with the name for the material.

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