Rand Paul Is the Best-Dressed Man in Washington

It’s time to talk about the turtlenecks.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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With Election Day less than a month away, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is hitting the campaign trail to stump for Republican candidates. On Wednesday he’ll be in Virginia with Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and congressional hopeful David Brat. He’ll be in New Hampshire on Thursday with former Sen. Scott Brown. He’s been in North Carolina with Rep. Walt Jones and Senate nominee Thom Tillis, and Kansas with Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback.

But for Paul, fall is about something more than just laying the groundwork for a 2016 presidential campaign. It’s turtleneck season.

He’s taken his licks in the past. An otherwise flattering profile in Vogue mocked his “dad jeans” and “notorious sartorial taste.” That’s one way of looking at it. Another—more accurate—way of looking at it is that Rand Paul is the leading fashion visionary of DC, nay, the world. The Nebuchadnezzar of Normcore, Sultan of the Sartorial, the Thelonius of Threads.

Here’s a quick guide.

Pleated khakis, blue-gray Polo Ralph Lauren sweater, black turtleneck, in October 2010:

Billy Suratt/Apex MediaWire/ZUMA

Black blazer, black turtleneck, button, January 2012:

Charles Dharapak/AP

Blazer, black turtleneck, Ray-Bans. Burger by In-N-Out. En route to the Reagan library in 2013:

Rand Paul/Facebook

Olive-green sweater vest, black turtleneck, button, while discussing the mythical NAFTA Superhighway in Montana, winter 2008:

Trenchcoat, split-pea vest, black turtleneck:

Metallic tan blazer, black turtleneck, while discussing taxation on Kentucky Tonight in 2008:

Kentucky Tonight/YouTube

Pleated khakis, black blazer, metallic blueberry on creamsicle, fall 2010:

Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/ZUMA

Navy denim shirt with gold-standard combo:

Billy Suratt/ZUMA

Christmas:

Boston Liberty Project/YouTube

Technicolor dreamcoat while grabbing lunch with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), August 2014:

Matt Hildreth/YouTube

Blazer, tie, JNCO jeans, 2012:

Charles Dharapak/AP

Candy-striped belt with JNCOs:

Jeff Blake/The State/ZUMA

So where does he get his style from? We’ve got one guess:

Charles Dharapak/AP

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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