From bleak to chic, Ahmadinejad’s style in spotlight during Iran polls

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Sleek, tailored suits can always lend a hand in winning over supporters or electoral votes in the world of politics.

But for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his evolving smart style could undermine his political stature.

Although Ahmadinejad is not running in Iran’s 2013 presidential race, he still stands as an important figure head for Iran and must dress the part.

As of late, Ahmadinejad has been spotted in more sophisticated clothing than he boasted during his initial election run in 2005, an Italian-style dark blue pinstripe suit worn at last week’s world conference of Ulama and Islamic awakening for example.

In his early days, his clothing reflected that he “was truly a man of the people,” reported The Guardian’s Saeed Kamali Dehghan on Tuesday, citing his supporters.

Ahmadinejad first rose to power as mayor with a more humble wardrobe. A trademark white jacket appeared to be a favorite choice for the president.

In 2009, British journalist Ed West described the notorious white jacket as “an item of clothing almost as offensive as his political views.”

But slowly, as the president became an important icon of power in the world, his trademark polyester jackets gave way to tailored suits.

Former MP Mostafa Reza-Hosseini Ghotbabadi pointed out that the change did not go unnoticed, telling the British newspaper: “Ahmadinejad’s characteristics have changed, his jackets are replaced with formal suits.”

The original white jacket was sold at an auction two years ago for about $52,600. By the time it was put up for sale, it had a hole under its left arm.

Now, as Iran prepares for a six-week election flurry, the 57-year-old Ahmadinejad – who cannot run for a third term - has been spotted once again wearing jackets of a similar style, but has also kept up with the suits while in Tehran.