Standing apart from his fellow Beltway types, the House speaker often opts for a minty hue
A friend of mine once described Washington, D.C., as "the fashion armpit of the country," and she was right. Sartorially, the District is stuffier than the Washington Monument staircase in August, ruled by boxy suits and American-flag lapel pins. Official Washington's fashion culture revolves around a paramount accessory -- the staff security badge -- and even the liberals wear conservative ties.
Not John Boehner.
The House speaker digs pastel tones -- particularly green ones. That's not exactly revolutionary, but it makes him a definite outlier in the nation's capital, where the standard, deep red and blue ties remain ubiquitous among politicians.
On Monday night, as Boehner and President Obama did political battle in a pair of prime-time debt-limit speeches, the tie contrast was striking. Obama in solid red, the usual choice for debates and nationally televised appearances, Boehner in a kelly green that sizzled on the screen.
A majority of public photos of Boehner by mid-2010 showed him sporting green neckwear, asserts ABC Neckties, a tie-seller with an accompanying tie-related blog. The ABC experts pointed out out that light green goes well with the speaker's renowned orange hue:
The first page of a Google image search shows Boehner wearing green in 25% of the photos showing neckwear. ...
During the summer, when I assume his skin takes a darker tone, bright summer colors like green suit even better. Blue-green eyes aid the cause as well.
To environmentalists, Boehner's color preference might seem ironic. He's not known as a big supporter of green energy, and he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in a live 2009 interview that it's "almost comical" to think carbon dioxide could affect the Earth's climate. He was wearing a green tie when he said it.
To be sure, Boehner doesn't always wear green. Sometimes he'll opt for an unusual pattern or richer pink tone. Here's a sampling of his other ventures, worn at debt- and deficit-related press conferences this year: