Put aside political views for a moment: Tucker Carlson is a truly compelling watch. His frat-boy hair, his uncanny ability to find a way to disagree with virtually every guest, and most importantly, his clothes, are all at the same time ridiculous and interesting.
When really no other notable television host consistently dresses in an Ivy/trad manner, he does it well and with no respite in sight. Virtually every night he is seen wearing a sack suit and a silk-repp striped or club tie; it’s dedication that these eyes have seldom seen. In more candid photos away from hosting programs he doesn’t skip a beat with sack sport coats, navy blazers, flannel trousers, chinos, and penny loafers. He’s essentially a talking cut-out removed from the pages of The Official Preppy Handbook. In a way, it’s become his uniform; in another, it’s become part of his on-air identity.
Still, I do find it odd is that he forgoes oxford button-downs, an enormously fundamental aspect of Ivy style; he instead wears straight/semi-spread collars. Nevertheless, he gets a pass since his collars are congruous with his natural and casual style as they are seemingly unlined, or very lightly lined, which gives them an appropriately nonchalant aesthetic.
And where does he get his clothes you might ask… Well, I’m certain his shirts come from Mercer & Sons as there is a specific review on their website that reads:
“No one has a straight collar like yours. No one! Don’t ever go out of business” – T. Carlson, Alexandria, VA
That’s as good as a recommendation as you’ll get for shirts if you like those such as his! And he’s mentioned on his own website (now out of commission, unfortunately) that he purchases bow ties from J. Press; it’s also been noted that he shops at J. Press for other various assortments, as well as Ben Silver. The guy clearly has an affinity for classic American style and the stores that have long been selling it.
Unfortunately, that style might as well be in a well-worn coffin six feet under the terra of the contemporary news world. The clothing of newscasters and pundits often reveals what the public finds appealing and fashionable, while the “best dressed men” typically wear darted suits with starched spread collars – that whole shebang – not that there is anything particularly wrong with dressing that way. Yet Carlson is bringing Ivy back to the mainstage; he’s wholly accepted the role of the Fox News conservative muckity muck in his return to prime time, his trusty repp ties and sweet coif in tow.
And while conservative pundits are a dime a dozen, I don’t think anyone plays the establishment antagonist as well as he does; though, I doubt he’d view himself as such since he often lambastes establishment politicians. I for one love the image he’s cultivated. In our egalitarian world, Carlson’s clothing, as well as entire persona for that matter, gives him an elitist, WASPY, neo-prep, country club, smarmy air that many love to hate or even love to love, depending on which side of the aisle you find yourself. A la Bill Buckley Jr., the clothes and argumentative style make him that much more entertaining as the traditional figure.
Mind you, entertaining might not be the best word to describe quality news, but so are modern times. After all, I’m here applauding a specific broadcaster for the lack of darts in his jackets and his aforementioned affinity for certain neckties. At the very least, we get to look forward to seeing what Ivy ensemble Tucker is going to don every weekday night for the foreseeable future.
And in case you haven’t been keeping up with the show, here’s a nice little montage (via Fox News) of what you’ll see.