Thomas Jefferson on Fashion
“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” — Thomas Jefferson
“The Sage of Monticello” cultivated an image that earned him the other nickname, “Man of the People.” He affected a popular air by greeting White House guests in homespun attire like a robe and slippers. Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison (Jefferson’s secretary of state), and Jefferson’s daughters relaxed White House protocol and turned formal state dinners into more casual and entertaining social events.
Given the fact that he was a statesman, parliamentarian, historian, surveyor, philosopher, scientist, diplomat, architect, inventor, educator, lawyer, farmer, breeder, manufacturer, botanist, horticulturalist, anthropologist, meteorologist, astronomer, paleontologist, lexicologist, linguist, ethnologist, Biblicist, mathematician, geographer, librarian, bibliophile, classicist, scholar, bibliographer, translator, writer, editor, musician, gastronome and connoisseur of wine…
Maybe fashionista was one he could leave off his resume…or perhaps he was only trying to shift the “current”. I think his exposure to fashion and style in his travels to France could have taught him not only about trends in fashion but most importantly the necessity to be able recognize and possibly create trends in an attempt to better understand the social climates/trends amongst the people.
I can’t find any portrayals of him in a robe and slippers…anybody? That would be a great pic.
After doing a little more research…jewel encrusted gold and silver shoe buckles were very much the fashion in TJ’s time…however when Jefferson became president he felt that wearing them was un-democratic and he therefore only wore simple black shoes with the laces showing…I have some buckles I need to return!
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