John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was not only known for his powerful leadership and tragic assassination, but also his distinctive fashion style. That's why he can be a good costume choice for people wanting to do a memorable U.S. president, but not interested in Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or one of the other common figures. A lot of the distinctive JFK clothing choices are items you might already own, making it a potentially easy costume to assemble.
Many companies sell John F. Kennedy masks. This can quickly give you the facial and hair look of JFK without requiring a lot of grooming on your part. However, it does, obviously, require you to wear a mask the entire time you're in costume, which can become uncomfortable or make it difficult to see. If you do choose to wear a JFK mask, you'll need to wear one of the outfits synonymous with JFK.
Like all presidents, John F. Kennedy, when he was in the White House and on other presidential business, was most often seen in a suit. These suits were usually dark and often had two buttons, instead of three, with both buttons fastened. In his left breast pocket he had a pocket square slightly coming out of the pocket. Under the jacket was a white dress shirt with a short collar -- not a button-down collar, either -- and a tie with a simple design, such as a few stripes. Wearing a suit that fits this description will help give someone the right look for a JFK costume.
In addition to his suit style, Kennedy was also known for his casual look, which he wore on family trips to Cape Cod, boating trips and other relaxed situations. This look fits into the preppy style often associated with Ivy League students and graduates. Kennedy often wore white pants or khakis, either shorts or long pants. Shirts were usually solid colors, such as short-sleeved polos or sweaters. Kennedy did not wear button-down shirts when he dressed casually. If you're going for a more casual JFK costume, these are the items you should wear.
Hair, Face and Accessories
If you're not wearing a mask, you'll need to get JFK's facial look and hairstyle. Kennedy's dark hair was groomed in a simple manner. Not too short, but not too long. His hairstyle was clean-cut, combed to the back and to the side on top. JFK did not have sideburns, except for a very small part at the top of his ears. As well, he was clean-shaven, with no mustache or beard. Emulating this grooming style will help give someone the right look. To help give more indication that your costume is representing JFK, consider wearing a button or pin with a picture of JFK or his initials on it. A JFK button or pin can be found at a thrift or memorabilia store or online.
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