STYLE STRENGTH: Diplomatically dapper
NON-NEGOTIABLE: "Comfortable shoes"
When the Mideast peace accord was signed last month, The Washington Post covered not only the historic covenant but also the Secretary of State's double-breasted dark-blue suit. He is, wrote the Post, "exceptionally well dressed for a man who lives in a town that rarely gets racier than a powder-blue shirt." A calm presence in stormy times, Warren Christopher, 68, sees fashion as far from frivolous. "Trying to be well-dressed," he says, "is a mark of the respect you have for others." But, adds the globe-hopping former L.A. lawyer, "this job is very hard on clothes. An 18-to 20-hour day will do a lot to a suit." What's easy is buying. A "very quick shopper," Christopher's weekend wardrobe comes from Ralph Lauren's Polo line; his tailored English suits from Carroll & Co., a Beverly Hills store where Christopher began shopping 25 years ago, and his Turn-bull & Asser shirts from Washington, D.C.'s Neiman Marcus.
Christopher's aide on style matters is his wife of 37 years, Marie, who notes, "Because he's thin, he thinks he looks better in double-breasted suits." Says Christopher: "She usually looks at me before I go out in the morning, and sometimes she'll say, 'That tie doesn't really go with that shirt.' " Then Mr. Secretary does what savvy husbands, be they diplomats or druggists, always do in such circumstances. He turns around, goes back to the closet in his Georgetown house and changes.