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The Higher They Climb

Yesterday on the tee at Martha’s Vineyard.

Kim Obama.jpg

Addendum: In the No Stone Unturned department, a diligent Dartblog reader reviews Jim Kim’s outfit above:

Biggest clanger: the white tube socks pulled up to his calves. Most golfers wearing shorts wear athletic quarter socks (i.e., ankle socks or “peds”). It almost looks like Jim is wearing medical support hose over a quarter sock (notice solid white rim just above his shoe tops). Hmmm, maybe Kim is at risk for blood clots or has one (a DVT — deep vein thrombosis) in his lower legs? If he just flew in, it might mean he wears them on airplanes as a precaution (blood clots are more prone to form at altitude and during prolonged periods of inactivity, so doctors often recommend taking two aspirin and wearing support hose on flights).

Pairing a forest green polo with navy blue bermudas is not a particularly compelling look, especially in breezy, summer-weight clothing. You could get away with that combination in wool dress slacks and a v-neck sweater at the office in late November, but while you’re enjoying an island vacation? Not so much.

That solid green shirt with a pair of white or khaki shorts would look fine. Or the navy shorts with a lighter-color shirt — whether solid or patterned. As it stands, that outfit lacks sufficient contrast or visual interest.

The white cap is fine on its own, but paired with dark, heavy-looking clothes it looks a little funny. The white cap also heightens your eye’s awareness of the white socks / support hose and his white shoes.

On one level, none of this is a big deal. Lots of guys dress a little dubiously or carelessly when playing golf. But if you were going out to play golf with the President during his vacation — with a guaranteed media entourage and global publication of the ensuing photos — my guess is that you would choose your wardrobe carefully to look your best — casual and appropriate to the relaxed location and sporting occasion. All the more if you were professionally ambitious and carefully managing your public image as leader of the World Bank, etc.

I would have expected Jim Kim to be turned out looking like a Tour pro — classy, understated, maybe a bit colorful, yet wearing nothing that yells “Hey, look at me!” And, given the setting and high-profile photos, I would definitely prescribe casual slacks rather than shorts for a guy sporting support hose. If it’s an early-morning round at Hanover Country Club, who cares? But with Barack Obama while he’s on vacation?

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