Obama Axes ‘Silly’ Shirt Tradition

    (From L-R) Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Chile's President Sebastián Piñera make their way to the podium for the APEC Leaders family photo in Kapolei, Hawaii, on November 13, 2011 during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.  The United States hosts this year's APEC forum for the first time since 1993, with leaders from the 21 member economies convening on the island of Oahu on November 12-13.  AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

    Robyn Beck / Getty Images

    No aloha shirts and seashell necklaces? Former president Bill Clinton had started a “dress-up” tradition at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where world leaders would wear the indigenous clothing of the host locale. (Clinton handed out bomber jackets in Seattle during the first summit in 1993, when the city was still the headquarters for Boeing.) Not anymore. “We are ending that tradition,” Obama said during the APEC conference in Hawaii Monday. “I didn’t hear a lot of complaints about us breaking precedent on that one.” Group portraits of the globe’s most powerful people in “silly shirts” used to be a highlight, but the thought of grass skirts probably freaked out people like Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The tradition was also scrapped last year in Japan, where leaders were asked to dress "smart casual."

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