Democratic Presidential candidates have a a richer history of sartorial acumen than the Republicans. FDR was a beautifully dressed man. He was followed by former haberdasher Harry Truman, and then, after the Republican interregnum, we were led by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy set a style standard for the White House that hasn't been equalled since (if I wanted to be depressed I could go find some old video of Jimmy Carter addressing the nation in a sweater. In a sweater!).
Just look at JFK. Pin stripes, polka dots and a white pocket square. Further, I would bet there are discreet gold cuff links under his jacket sleeves, and bespoke oxfords on his feet.
Contrast JFK with John Edwards, whose official web site is full of 'man of the people' photos. Call me cynical, and I am, but I have a hard time taking wrinkled chinos and scuffed shoes seriously when they're worn by a man with a $400 haircut that flew in on a private jet. And, when he is wearing a suit, his necktie seems perpetually to sit a quarter inch too low.
Joe Biden does business casual the right way, substituting a blazer and gray trousers for the navy suit in his official portrait. Of course, he needs a pocket square.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, will hopefully soon begin taking wardrobe lessons from Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who usually looks statesperson-like in her Armani suits. Clinton, on the other hand, is frequently photographed in jewel-toned blouses and badly fitting pastel pants suits. I've only chosen the photograph above to be kind.
When I began this exercise, I fully expected Barack Obama to be the cream of the Democratic crop, based on a series of photos I'd seen of the distinguished Senator wearing what appeared to be well-cut suits and discreet solid colored neckties. A bit of investigation established that he tends to wear shirts that were made for a man with a much larger neck, and that lowered his score considerably. Here he is looking professional speaking to a small group in Evanston, Illinois.
Next we'll consider the best dressed candidate from each of the two major parties.