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
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
Subscribe to the Week