Gallery The Top 10 Best-Dressed World Leaders
Prime Minister of the United KingdomBritain’s top-ranking Conservative, David Cameron is also the chicest. The Old Etonian has been known to wear bespoke, Savile Row–tailored suits over trendy, high-street pieces and prefers ties of cerulean, lilac, and hunter green to the staid blue and red neckwear preferred by politicians in the States. Cameron’s most notable ensemble to date: the tails and bow tie worn to a 1980s-era photo shoot with fellow members of his rowdy Oxford University society, the Bullingdon Club. The picture (and displays of privilege therein) precipitated a minor scandal in Britain. Cameron claimed he was “very embarrassed” about the whole thing, but years of impeccable dressing throughout his prime-ministership have mitigated its notoriety.
President of Costa RicaLaura Chinchilla, the first female president of Costa Rica, is a social conservative and progressive dresser. For her inauguration, Chinchilla wore a white skirt and white suit jacket featuring a built-in white cummerbund. Though she’s been in office for just under three years, she’s already experimented with a wide variety of suit shades and is often photographed wearing gem tones of green and blue. Poker-straight shoulder-length brown hair combats the aging effect that’s often a consequence of female politicians’ necessarily moderate outfits.
Prime Minister of the NetherlandsMark Rutte looks like Pierce Brosnan in a LensCrafters commercial in the very best possible way. The Dutch prime minister’s crinkly eyed smile and lush, impressive-on-a-20-year-old hairline appear all the more ruggedly handsome aside his delicate frameless glasses. His classic, understated style suggests his tailor must be as good as his optometrist.
President of the Indian National CongressPolitical scion Sonia Gandhi was the wife of the prime minister before her own entry into national politics, so she’s logged years of practice chicly yet appropriately dressing for state functions, public events, and party obligations. Salt-and-pepper hair tied back into a slick ponytail complements gorgeous, elaborately designed saris in shades of burgundy and amaranth.
President of the United StatesThough Barack Obama’s personal style is, quite understandably, often overshadowed by the sartorial slam dunks of his flawless wife, Michelle, the most powerful man in the world can wear the hell out of a suit. He favors the Chicago-based label Hartmarx; in turn, Hartmax wears its reciprocated affinity for the president (and the attendant publicity) on its wool-cashmere-blend sleeve. At one point an advertisement on the house’s Web site: “Dressing Presidential. Pick your power suit. President-elect Barack Obama found his at Hart Schaffner Marx.”
Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and TobagoThe first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago—and the second first female prime minister on this list—Kamla Persad-Bissessar chose a shiny, lime-green suit for her swearing-in and has not ceased experimenting with more adventurous fashion since. She pairs drop earrings with pearl necklaces, brooches with statement lapels, pink jackets with purple eye shadow, and, most notably, a punchy personal style with political appropriateness.
Chancellor of AustriaWerner Faymann, the most famous grizzled Viennese since Sigmund Freud, wears dark suits, white or light-blue shirts, and thin striped ties. His style signature is not his outfit so much as it is his hair: that perfectly thick, perfectly polychromatic forest of gray most commonly found on men’s hair-dye boxes. Sometimes a suit is just a suit—but a full head of hair on a 52-year-old man is always a calling card.
President of MalawiRanked as the most powerful woman in Africa byForbes, Joyce Banda might also be the most delightfully attired. Her collection of floral, patterned, brightly colored, and ornate hats is like millenary Prozac: who could help but smile in a hat like that? Who could help but smile just looking at a hat like that? Princess Beatrice maybe, but it’s only because she’s jealous.
President of MexicoSquare of jaw, thick of hair, and French of cuff: these are the most dashing traits—of many dashing traits—of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. He looks and dresses like a movie star, and marries like one, too: his wife, the striking Angélica Rivera, is a former television actress. The Los Angeles Times has praised his suits as “smartly tailored.” And “smart” is exactly the right word for it: not just anyone with a personal tailor could pull off pinstripes with a striped tie.
President of IcelandA preference for double-breasted suits and peaked lapels reveals a distinctive British influence on Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s posh personal style. And while his outfits may recall an Oxbridge society in the 1920s—maybe Cameron’s Bullingdon, in fact—Grímsson’s aviator-frame glasses seem taken from a Columbia University S.D.S. protest 40 years later. His floppy, foppish, sallow hair, however, is all his own.