Pope Francis has been named Best Dressed Man of 2013 by Esquire magazine, beating Hollywood superstars Bradley Cooper and Chris Pine with his clean-cut papal outfits.
The men's life and style magazine admitted that the decision is somewhat "unconventional" but claimed that the Holy Father's choices when it comes to "popewear" signal the start of a new era for the Catholic Church.
"His mode of dressing really does reflect the mindset behind it," Mark-Evan Blackman, assistant professor of menswear design at the Fashion Institute of Technology told Esquire.
"I remember when John Paul II was buried in those opulent bright red shoes. When the current pope was elected and chose not to wear the red shoes I thought that was very reflective of his approach to being a person functioning in a role."
His decision to ditch the red shoes, fur coats and expensive jewellery worn by Pope Benedict impressed a panel of fashion experts who praised his simple ways and humble nature. The magazine highlighted that his unadorned and simplistic regalia has made him approachable unlike previous pontiffs.
"Pope Francis understands that menswear is meant to express the character of the man wearing the clothes," said Mary Lisa Gavenas, author of The Fairchild Encyclopedia of Meanswear."No rapper-style popewear for him," she added.
But this is not the first time the Pontiff has graced the cover of a magazine.
Pope Francis was recently named 'Person of the Year' by TIME and The Advocate magazine, which promotes gay rights, for capturing the attention of a global audience and starting a new conversation on capitalism, homosexuality and family values.
Ann Pellegrini, Associate Professor of Performance Studies & Religious Studies at New York University added: "The humility of his garments offers a way to visibly display his theological and material concerns for the poor. This Holy Roman emperor really does have new clothes."
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies