Pierre and Justin Trudeau – father and fils – certainly like to dress up. For the father it was a rose, while his son is really into socks.
During his entire – and lengthy – career as prime minister, Pierre wore a fresh red rose in the buttonhole of his jacket lapel every day. From the beginning, it denoted a touch of glamour and set him apart from the mostly stolid, gray men who preceded him as prime minister.
Like many such personal symbols, Trudeau’s choice of boutonniere over time became a sort of Rorschach test for the public. Among his admirers, it was seen as an emblem of the PM’s charisma and romantic mystique, as well as his pronounced individualism and aversion to stuffy conventions. To his critics, the red rose was an affectation, encapsulating what they saw as Trudeau’s essential dilettantism and self absorption.
His son, Justin, has a penchant for fancy socks. The brightly coloured, playfully patterned hosiery have become the personal fashion signature of Canada’s first Gen-X prime minister. Trudeau wears his socks along with the more traditionally sombre business attire of a dark suit and tie that are more usually associated with political and executive leaders.
However, along with his well-documented penchant for costumes and other forms of dress up, the PM’s socks have been derided by some critics as manifesting a lack of seriousness. In his 2020 memoir, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull shared a withering account of what he saw down below, as it were. Turnbull was clearly distracted by his Canadian counterpart’s socks, and was lucky Trudeau wasn’t trying to pull the wool over his eyes given how important sheep farming is in Australia.
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