Hit & Run: Suitably presidential

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The Independent Online

Political pundits may be speculating about Obama's first moves as president, but the style council are getting hot under the collar about his choice of outfit for the Inauguration Ball on 20 January.

Mr President-elect has already revealed he'll be wearing one of his trusty single-button, notch-lapel tuxedos, made by the Chicago clothiers Hart Schaffner Marx, for the evening festivities – but that didn't put off US fashion industry bible Women's Wear Daily from commissioning the cream of international menswear designers to send in sketches of how they'd dress Barack for the occasion.

New Yorker Marc Jacobs put the new leader in a longer-length black tux jacket and slim-fit trousers, whereas Paul Smith and the design team at DKNY saw Obama in more classic versions of black tie, with grosgrain lapels and a starchy black dicky bow. Rapper-turned-designer Sean Combs would like America's first black president to go down more of a Saturday Night Fever route, in a white tuxedo jacket teamed with black skinny trousers. (This is perhaps more a reflection of Puffy's own style, but at least he doesn't suggest Obama pimp it up in a Sean John signature white fur coat.)

Obama is the first president since JFK who makes clothes look good, rather than simply necessary. As WWD purred in its introduction to the 54 fashion drawings: "With his lanky 6ft 2in frame, basketball-toned physique and sophisticated elan, Barack Obama has all the makings of a presidential style icon. With endless references to John F Kennedy, designers are eagerly anticipating a return to Camelot-era glamour."

In fact, he has the perfect shape for that most iconic of men's suits, the Dior Homme slim-fit, unveiled by the French designer Hedi Slimane in 2001. The style is unforgiving, and it famously inspired Karl Lagerfeld to lose six stone in order to fit into Slimane's creations. One small catch – wearing Dior in the White House could be seen as rather unpatriotic.

Among the home-grown US talent, Thom Browne's version of Obama's inaugural togs mirrors the designer's personal style, often likened to a 1950s insurance broker: a long tux jacket with tails, a foppishly floppy and Byronic neck-tie, and cropped-length trousers.

Perhaps it's better that he's planning to stick to the tailor he already knows and trusts. Arguably, Obama has played up to notions of cool, having been snapped in baseball cap and gym kit (though that could be attributed to his liking for shooting hoops), but it's a bad idea for politicians to go too fashion-forward. Tony Blair was lambasted for his denim shirt – and that wasn't even trendy. Obama may have been a candidate for change, but his wardrobe certainly isn't. By Harriet Walker

Guess what Coleen's getting for Christmas...

In Rooneyworld, credit crunch might as well be a Häagen-Dazs flavour. For their first Christmas as a married couple, the 22-year-old Mrs Rooney revealed in an interview with OK! magazine this week, Wayne will be buying her a new Bentley. "It's such a lovely present," she cooed. "It's the updated version of the one I have now, but in a different colour."

The cheapest new car in the Bentley range will set her hubby back at least £112,000, but he might opt for a pink GT Continental to match his black one, at £150,000. Mr Rooney, 23, has a car collection worth more than £750,000 including an Aston Martin, a Lamborghini, a Mercedes Coupé and a BMW X5 SUV.

"I'm so excited. I love the smell of new cars," said Coleen, blissfully unaware of the rage such comments could incite among unemployed bankers, Woolworths staff, and pretty much anyone else who can't afford a new car every Christmas and/or birthday (he bought her a Porsche for her 19th, too).

Coleen also told OK! that Wayne would be getting "pyjamas and smellies" in his Christmas stocking. "I get carried away", she said. Pyjamas and smellies? My mum gets more carried away than that. Meanwhile, Coleen was too busy filming her "new series" (does anyone remember her "old" series?) to put up Christmas decorations with Wayne at their Cheshire mansion, so they hired help to do it. Wayne is, apparently, "chuffed" with the results, including several Christmas trees. No doubt one of them will be big enough to park a car underneath. Tim Walker

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