The Biden Guide to Dressing Younger

Joe Biden is a dapper guy. He always has been. When he turned up decades ago for a first date with the woman who would become his wife and the country’s first lady, her gut reaction was, “This is never going to work, not in a million years.”

Dressed in a sports coat and loafers, Joe Biden was too dapper for someone who had previously gone out with men in T-shirts and clogs.

They worked it out. And the future president stuck to his style. It was one that sometimes skewed Gatsby, for which in 1974 Washingtonian magazine noted his penchant for pinstripe suits and tasseled loafers when citing him as one of the best dressed men in the Senate. It was one that was sometimes too high-toned for its setting. In 1979, Mr. Biden, then a second-term senator, exuded confidence in a “tailored suit and expensive tie” for a campus speech at the University of Alabama, The New Yorker later reported.

It was one that, on occasion, even threatened to upstage the boss. Yes, it must have been flattering to be praised by The Chicago Tribune as the “best-dressed guy” at Bill Clinton’s 2000 State of the Union address. Politically, however, it was not the best look.

Still, dapper cred has stood President Biden in good stead. When Donald J. Trump, now 77, derides his 81-year-old opponent as doddering Uncle Joe, he is missing a point any tailor would be happy to clarify. There is getting old, and there is looking old. To avoid having your clothes add unnecessary years, make style your friend.

“Joe Biden’s style is timeless and doesn’t have any expiration date,” the designer Todd Snyder said recently. If you think that is accidental, you are not paying attention.

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