Summer Brights

Anthony Weiner's Fancy Pants

Bright blue! Neon orange! Reformed sexter Anthony Weiner is hardly playing it safe in his bid to be New York’s next mayor. Isabel Wilkinson on the loud and proud trousers.

Craig Ruttle/AP, Abby Haglage/NWDB

Anthony Weiner is on a tear. In the past few weeks, he’s been campaigning for New York City mayor everywhere from a Baptist church in Queens to a rally for marriage equality at the Stonewall Inn. He’s been pounding the pavement hard—and now, according to new polls, he’s the frontrunner in the race.

The catch? He’s doing it all in pairs of really, really bright pants.

At a press conference in the Bronx earlier this week (about free meals for city kids during the summer months), Weiner chose bright blue chinos, which he paired with his signature white shirt with rolled up sleeves and a printed green tie. And though they’re memorable, the pants (which are like Nantucket Reds, only blue) have been in heavy rotation. He wore them earlier this month to run up Fifth Avenue waving the Israeli flag as part of the Israel Day Parade.

At a rally for marriage equality at New York’s Stonewall Inn on Wednesday, Weiner opted for a more flamboyant pair of bright orange pants—paired this time with a brown belt, white shirt, and red tie. In a sea of rainbows, he stood out.

As the candidate's spokesperson, Barbara Morgan, said in an e-mail: "Anthony wants to lead the fashion capital of the world, so it's no surprise that he would make fashion forward trouser choices."

Weiner has clearly moved on from his congressional sexting scandal and is now running, as one Democratic consultant told The Daily Beast's David Freedlander, “as if he has nothing to lose.” And maybe that attitude is evident in his wardrobe choices, too: bold, look-at-me selections that seem to scream, “I'm confident, I'm here to stay. And there’s no turning back now.” Perhaps uncoincidentally, blue and orange are the colors he uses on his campaign posters.

But colorful versions of Nantucket Reds are, politically, a risky choice. For starters, there’s a preconceived notion that they’re the slacks of the rich—the kind you’d see (probably paired with boat shoes) on the legs of WASPs bounding around Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

But on a plucky Jewish mayor, ripping through a comeback tour? Not so much. Everyone already knows Weiner is rich. (In 2012, Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, disclosed a combined income of close to $500,000—most of which came from Weiner’s consulting work.) But even if he could afford fancy pants, you would think that given his circumstances, Weiner would want to play it safe in this campaign. Sure, bright colors can signal confidence, modernity, even a new era. But for someone trying to rehab his image after a sex scandal? That, for once, is a shade of gray.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a comment from Weiner's spokesperson.