“His clothes were dramatic, too. Although he owned blue suits, most of them didn’t look like those worn by other senators; so rich and shimmering was their fabric that friends joked about Lyndon’s “silver suits,” and even with his conservative blue suit, and even when he was wearing it with a starched white shirt, he often didn’t wear one of his many understated Countess Mara neckties but rather one of the style known in Texas as a “Fat Max” tie: short, very wide, and garishly hand-painted, some with placidly grazing horses, some with bucking broncos — one favorite had shapely cowgirls astride — some with oil field derricks. Gold glinted from his wrists — the cuffs of his shirts were fastened by notably large solid gold cuff links in the shape of Texas, with a diamond in the center to show Austin; his gold watch was so heavy that when he went to the doctor, he was careful to remove it before he stepped on the scale — and gold glinted from his waist, where his belt buckle was also large and solid gold. His initials seemed to be everywhere: his belt buckle was monogrammed, as were his shirts (not only on the breast pocket but at least one cuff) and his pocket handkerchief, and when he wasn’t wearing the Texas cuff links, he was wearing cuff links that proclaimed, in solid gold, “LBJ” from each wrist. And the shirts he preferred weren’t white — he often worse shirts and ties that were cut from the same bolt of checkered or polka-dotted cloth — and the suits he preferred weren’t blue. When he wore one of his favorite outfits, of which every element — trousers, vest, tie, jacket — was a monochromatic pale brown, Lyndon Johnson was, one journalist recalls, “a mountain of tan.” …When he wore a fedora or other conventional eastern hat, it was usually tilted all the way back on his head, in the casual manner of the Southwest, and he often wore a big, gray, broad-brimmed Texas Stetson instead. And while he might be wearing black shoes, at other times he wore cowboy boots, richly embroidered and polished to a high gloss. “You could see him bend down a dozen times a day to buff them up with a handkerchief,” a colleague recalls.”

Robert Caro on LBJ’s dress

(thanks, Andy)

Q and Answer: Cowboy Boots?
Josh writes (succinctly): Cowboy boots?
The short answer is: if you have to ask, no.
If you’re a cowboy, or live in a cowboy place, then yes, western boots, and indeed western clothes generally, are fine.  There are places in this great country where men wear cowboy boots with suits, and while it isn’t exactly the height of taste, I wouldn’t deign to correct them.  It’s a cultural thing.  If you’re that kind of guy in that kind of place, then go for it.  Western clothes are one of America’s great contributions to the world of style.
That said: if you’re not that kind of guy, then no way.  I have always wished I could wear western shirts, but I have never looked like anything other than a total tool in them.  This is because I am much more George W. Bush than I am Sam Houston.  If there is doubt, err on the side of caution.

Q and Answer: Cowboy Boots?

Josh writes (succinctly): Cowboy boots?

The short answer is: if you have to ask, no.

If you’re a cowboy, or live in a cowboy place, then yes, western boots, and indeed western clothes generally, are fine.  There are places in this great country where men wear cowboy boots with suits, and while it isn’t exactly the height of taste, I wouldn’t deign to correct them.  It’s a cultural thing.  If you’re that kind of guy in that kind of place, then go for it.  Western clothes are one of America’s great contributions to the world of style.

That said: if you’re not that kind of guy, then no way.  I have always wished I could wear western shirts, but I have never looked like anything other than a total tool in them.  This is because I am much more George W. Bush than I am Sam Houston.  If there is doubt, err on the side of caution.