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Romney, Obama should skip ‘Mom Jeans’ and consider ‘Rahm Jeans’

Owner David Shelist The Denim Lounge 2039 W. Roscoe with jeans like ones purchased by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. | Rich

Owner David Shelist of The Denim Lounge, 2039 W. Roscoe, with jeans like the ones purchased by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times.

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Updated: June 1, 2012 8:06AM



Wisecracking pundits have almost made having poor taste in working man’s pants a legitimate issue on the presidential campaign trail.

It’s as if the great “Mom Jeans” debate has Americans asking themselves: Should we elect a man president if he doesn’t have the common fashion sense to avoid wearing frumpy, high-waisted, loose-fitting denim favored by voluptuous suburban ladies?

Both President Obama and Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney have been ridiculed for publicly sporting overly baggy jeans designed to cover larger posteriors and thunder thighs.

Romney has even gotten teased for “flip-flopping” on the Mom Jeans issue when his everyman look improved to include a better fitting pair of Levi’s that his wife picked out for him.

If they want to avoid being belittled by ladies on “The View,” Obama and Romney might want to consider mimicking the hip, casual look of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

At weekend events, Chicago’s new Boss dresses down in a casual blue blazer and low-slung, dark-colored, boutique denim that fit snugly around his 30-inch waist without looking too tight.

Not “Mom Jeans” — “Rahm Jeans.”

The mayor’s casual-look upgrade included a laid-back meeting at his City Hall office. That’s where personal denim adviser, David Shelist, owner of popular jeans boutique The Denim Lounge, took Emanuel’s measurements for the perfect casual fit.

“We’ve actually brought [the mayor] a lot of jeans this year and have gone down to his office to fit him in denim,” Shelist said. “Rahm is in unbelievable shape. He fluctuates between a 31 and 30 waist … 31 inseam.”

Emanuel declined to comment on his upgraded casual look and his personal jean consultation, but Shelist, a guy who knows about these things, says Chicago’s mayor is probably the best example of a powerful politician doing the casual look right.

“Look at him on Sundays,” Shelist said. “He has a uniform, blue blazer and black Page jeans.”

Sometimes, Emanuel sports dark indigo AG jeans. Those California-based boutique denim outfitters also are favorites of actress Blake Lively and Eva Longoria, country singer Keith Urban, actor Taylor Lautner and one of the Kardashians.

It’s not just what brand our mayor wears that makes him a role model for proper casual dress. It’s the style Emanuel picked — minimal dye “whiskering” and plain back pockets — and the best cut for his slight frame.

“The most popular style is relaxed straight,” Shelist said. “Rahm, since he is more petite, doesn’t like them relaxed. He likes them in a straight fit.”

For the fashion ignorant that means Emanuel wears jeans cut for comfort in the crotch and thighs with straight legs.

“Slimmer, thinner and not relaxed,” Shelist said, referring to Emanuel’s change in jeans — not Chicago’s change in mayors.

Want your own “Rahm Jeans?” Prepare to fork over $140 to $180 a pair. That’s about triple what Levi’s 501 — Romney’s denim upgrade — will set you back at Target.

“If these guys are wearing $1,000 suits, to go out and spend $180 on good looking jeans isn’t that bad,” Shelist said. “To me, I wonder why they wear great looking suits that are tailored and they look like slobs in [Mom Jeans].”

As for Obama, the president made clear that getting “cracked on” for wearing baggy denim when he threw out the first pitch at the All-Star game in 2009 would not change his stance on wearing jeans you might see on a mature lady at a youth soccer game.

“Those jeans are comfortable,” Obama told “Today Show” host Meredith Vieria back then. “For those of you who want your President to look great in his tight jeans, I’m sorry, I’m not the guy.”

Shelist, who says he offered Obama his denim-consulting services after the Sox game incident but never heard back, hopes the president’s opinion might change during an election year.

“I’ll have to send him another letter,” Shelist said. “Better yet, maybe I’ll ask Rahm to send him a Blackberry message about those jeans.”



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