Barack Obama Flexed His Post-Presidential Style in a Rag & Bone Jacket Emblazoned With “44”

He's finally free to flex his personal style.

North Carolina v Duke
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Two Mays ago—yes, it sadly has been that long since Barack Obama turned over the White House to Donald Trump—the 44th president of the United States embarked on his first post-political world tour. At the time, he unveiled a much more casual look than what he’d worn in office: a basic suit and shirt, with the top buttons undone and no tie. Now, in 2019, he seems to have finally hit his stride when it comes to his personal style, as he showed while attending a basketball game between Duke and their rivals, the University of North Carolina, on Wednesday night.

When he arrived at the game—to much fanfare—he did so in a custom bomber jacket with the number “44” embroidered onto the sleeve of it. It was a major shift from the simple suited look that was his signature while he was POTUS, and Obama looked like he was enjoying every moment of his cooler, more laid-back style while taking in the game from the packed stadium.

The off-duty look was created for him by Rag & Bone and couldn’t be better suited for a former president, especially one as cool as Obama. Dubbed the Manston Bomber Jacket, it’s “a modern update on an authentic military silhouette,” per a press release from the brand. It’s also still available for purchase by politicians and their constituents alike, for $595.

Even though Obama just wore the jacket yesterday, leveling up his evolving personal style, it was actually created for him while he was still president. “I hadn’t forgotten about it, but I wasn’t necessarily waiting [for it to appear],” Marcus Wainwright, founder and chief brand officer of Rag & Bone told GQ. “I wasn’t expecting him to wear it in public. I thought maybe he’s wearing it on the weekends or at home. I was hoping that he was wearing it.” Wainright also summed up most people’s thoughts on Obama’s new look: “He looked pretty fucking cool.”

DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 20: Former U.S. President Barack Obama talks with ESPN analyst Maria Taylor while attending the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.

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When he was in office, Obama didn’t have the bandwidth to experiment as much with his style, as he told Vanity Fair in 2014 while explaining why he often wore iterations of the same outfit: “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Now, with fewer decisions to make on a daily basis, he’s finally free to flex.

Related: Michelle Obama Has a Long History of Supporting Emerging Fashion Designers, from Teija to Jason Wu