Summer Chic with Mayor Hoff

Last Thursday was a busy day for Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, as Columbian reporters spotted him at three events. He went to Frito-Lay to celebrate 40 years of chip making, a public memorial for Clark College’s Skeet O’Connell and a fundraising luncheon for Legacy’s Child Abuse Assessment Team.

See how mayoral he looks?


But when he was seated at Frito Lay — and Columbian photographer Troy Wayrynen was obviously bored because he knew his picture for the newspaper would be one involving chip-making machines — these were exposed:


Now, journalists are not known for their fashion sense. And I don’t check whether local officials are wearing socks, so I don’t know if locally this is a trend favored by one.

But when I see sockless males I expect them to be wearing sandals or slip-on loafers. Not leather saddle shoes. It just doesn’t look comfortable.

Leavitt’s emailed response? “Summer … warm weather … trend is to NOT wear socks. Summer chic.”

I consulted my most styish male friend, Grant, who said sockless in the summer is OK, but the person has to be able to carry it off. Because it’s not comfortable, Grant said. Your feet sweat.

Just as a model can strut down a catwalk in 4-inch heels, but I would look awkward in 2-inch heels: You have to own the look.

Leavitt, Grant said, is a “nerd in sheep’s clothing.”

Grant referenced the blog we posted in May about this pic:


The sweater-over-the-shoulders-and-rolled-jeans look earned Leavitt the nickname “Mayor Hoff” after David Hasselhoff, circa 1986.

Jude Law could wear that same outfit, Grant said, and nobody would think twice. Because Jude Law is a stylish Brit actor and Leavitt is an engineer.

Grant admits that he has to hold back on some trends. The new-but-look-old cutoff jeans shorts caught his eye earlier this summer, but then he stopped and remembered he’s a 44-year-old father.

Mayor Leavitt, you may buy your custom suits in Portland, but please remember where you live and who you are.

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