The media hype over Obama in Somali clothing suggests that an Obama presidency will, if nothing else, expand the American definition of leisure wear.
The BBC patiently explains today that Obama’s clothes are typical nomadic Somalis and his turban is worn to show respect for elders.
I am looking forward to Obama wearing Nigerian lace to a White Press conference. Or stepping off Air Force One in, say, Paris dressed in a Congolese soukous suit.
Political leaders in the U.S. have suffered too long under the shared delusion that Western suits and ties — or psuedo-Cowbody outfits — are the only way of dressing that honors their great offices. Now is the time for Africa’s gorgeous clothing to re-define the term, “formal wear.”
Of course, I am biased. I routinely troll my house wearing nothing more than a Sudanese gown or a Ghanaian top-and-down. I’ve been known to frequent nightclubs in colorful Congolese suits made of fabric from the infamous Woodin company of Lome. In writing this post, I am merely taking the first step in my long campaign to become the next White House Wardrobe Manager!