09/19/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT
It's no accident that the U.S. Treasury Secretary always appears to be in mint condition. "Gravitas," he says, "is gray hair and a pressed suit." Accordingly, the dapper former senator is on the money with his tailored clothing (off the rack from Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) that rises above D.C. dreariness. Bentsen, 73, admits to having a "tie fetish," and one admirer keeps borrowing his ties. "When the President sees one," he says, "he likes to take it." (Clinton wore a sprightly colored Bentsen tie to the NCAA basketball finals last spring.) After work, however, gravitas is out. Says Bentsen's wife, B.A.: "The minute he gets home, he changes into khakis and a big blue shirt. He always looks great."