apan's leader is facing a minor political crisis after committing a high-profile fashion faux pas. At a recent photo-op lunch with ordinary voters, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made the mistake of donning a flamboyant 1980s-style plaid shirt — inciting an influential fashion writer to opine that the garment was proof that Hatoyama's "ideas and philosophy are old." The critique caught on, and the prime minister's already-dismal approval ratings plunged nine points — to 24 percent — in the media scrutiny that followed. Apparently "the Japanese take their fashion pretty seriously," says Megan Baldwin in Styleite. Then again, we subject Obama to the same scrutiny, says Sadie Stein in Jezebel. Whenever the president makes the mistake of donning a pair shapeless "dad-jeans," it always sparks a "firestorm" of jeering commentary in the blogoshere. See Hatoyama's controversial shirt in this CNN report:
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