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Yesterday Times fashion writer Cathy Horyn gently rebuked Barack Obama's sartorial tastes, implying his "dad jeans" made him look like a sitcom character from the 1990s. ("When he wears them with white sneakers and a windbreaker, one could almost say he had stolen the look from Jerry Seinfeld's character on the television series.") The criticism isn't likely to convince Obama to break out the baggy jeans. As the President-elect made clear a few months ago, he's no fan of the belted-around-the-thighs look style favored by many young black men: "Brothers should pull up their pants," he told MTV viewers in a pre-election appearance. "You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing... Some people might not want to see your underwear. I'm one of them."

But will Obama's fashion choices have any influence the nation, and possibly put an end to the ubiquity of the south-traveling jean seat? The fashion experts Clyde Haberman chats with are mixed, but perhaps among all our treasured hopes for the new administration—a recovered economy, a superior healthcare system, the end of prejudice against gays and minorities—we can also dream of a waistband that neither grazes a man's nipples nor the backs of his knees but sits nicely on the hip, where it belongs.

Can Obama Help Kill Baggy Pants Look? [NYT]