Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yes, that man is wearing a bicycle on his lapel

That's Earl Blumenauer, Co-Chair and founder of the Congressional Bicycle Caucus. In this case, a red bicycle.  But Rep. Blumenauer wears the Bike Caucus lapel pin frequently, and it comes in other colors too, like neon yellow, which he wore to present Mandy Moore with her own pin in March.

But the congressman doesn't reserve his pin only for bicycle transportation advocacy occasions. He was wearing it last week during a floor speech on defense spending and the National Guard:

So we have to ask, what does this look mean for Rep. Blumenauer, other than expressing a passion for cause he is best known for?

It expresses quirkiness, for sure, along with his signature bow tie. The gold tie in the video above is a bit too wide for him, actually. The fullness of it starts to dwarf his face (see also another time he wore this tie). But in general, the bow ties seem to work for him. If you're already known as "the bicycle guy" you're not really depleting much from your image with mainstream indicators of quirk like lapel pins and bow ties. What keeps him out of costume territory? A muted color palette. Blue, gray, gold, crimson. No novelty prints or creative tailoring.


  1. I'm liking the discussion of male fashion choices but I wonder....why do men in politics get more room to be "quirky" than women? I mean, I know the answer but is there ANY room for women to show their quirk?

  2. Quirk is not just for men! But on women, we often call it something like..."artistic." My favorite example in Congress, of course, is Rosa DeLauro: http://styleofpolitics.blogspot.com/search/label/DeLauro