Japan'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:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- Chuck Hagel was a huge mistake
- 5 quick things you can do today to boost your creativity
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: November 24, 2014
Subscribe to the Week