Rand Paul Is the Best-Dressed Man in Washington

It’s time to talk about the turtlenecks.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate