Obama Axes ‘Silly’ Shirt Tradition

No aloha shirts and seashell necklaces? Former president Bill Clinton had started a “dress-up” tradition at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where world leaders would wear the indigenous clothing of the host locale. (Clinton handed out bomber jackets in Seattle during the first summit in 1993, when the city was still the headquarters for Boeing.) Not anymore. “We are ending that tradition,” Obama said during the APEC conference in Hawaii Monday. “I didn’t hear a lot of complaints about us breaking precedent on that one.” Group portraits of the globe’s most powerful people in “silly shirts” used to be a highlight, but the thought of grass skirts probably freaked out people like Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The tradition was also scrapped last year in Japan, where leaders were asked to dress "smart casual."