Fashion Statement

President Joe Biden and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Where do you stand on the momentous question of Volodymyr Zelensky’s attire?

I’m okay with it. Eschewing a suit and tie for what might be described as “wartime casual” when visiting the White House is unorthodox, admittedly. But it’s something of a tradition for foreign leaders trying to rally the free world against fascists bent on conquest.

I didn’t expect to be writing about men’s apparel today. But this is, after all, a newsletter about populism, and American populists are having a collective aneurysm over the fact that Zelensky wore a green sweatshirt and slacks during his visit to Washington.

“This ungrateful piece of sh*t does not have the decency to wear a suit to the White House — no respect [for] the country that is funding his survival,” an indignant Benny Johnson tweeted. “Track suit wearing eastern european con-man mafia.” Numerous other populists agreed, with Charlie Kirk scoffing at Zelensky’s “costume.” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-MAGA) attended Zelensky’s speech to Congress, albeit not enthusiastically, and was asked afterward if there was anything he liked about it. “I loved the fashion choices,” he sneered.

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