John Fitzgerald Kennedy will forever secure a place in the legend of the United States as much as he does in its history. The fresh-faced 35th president and scion of the closest thing this country has ever had to a royal family still represents to many the promise of an American optimism, long after being gunned down in what is arguably the most conspiracy-riddled event in our history. He was also the youngest elected president and, with his tousled sandy hair, toothy smile, rugged good looks, easy charm, and calm visage, has come to embody the ideal of classic American style.
Kennedy’s ease of being and comfortable, casual fashion sense left a mark not just on American menswear, but the very office of the president. By being less than formal, he let the public in, made them feel comfortable with him as a human being as well as a world leader. It’s a move still employed today, every time President Obama releases a playlist or frolics in the surf.
As summer winds down, Kennedy’s casual style is a perfect way to beat the day’s heat and segue into cooler evening temps. Think classic New England prep, or, more specifically, preppie’s grown-up version that was once famously known as “Ivy League,” but with a bit of sun bleaching and sand wear at the edges. Comfortable, easy, but classy at the core.