Bill Clinton Style Evolution: From College Sweatshirts To Tuxedos (PHOTOS)

Do you think when a young Bill Clinton, an American Legion Boys Nation delegate at the time, met then president John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963, he knew he would one day succeed the great leader? Quite possibly. As he wrote in his 2004 autobiography My Life, he felt confident by age 16 that he was destined to a life in politics. Born in the tiny town of Hope, Arkansas in 1946, Clinton would rise to one of the most important positions in the world, yet somehow he's managed to hold on to his down-home charm after all these years.

The ultimate people person, Clinton's folksy, every-guy demeanor would end up taking him far. And we're sure the bomber jackets, light denim and college sweatshirts didn't hurt, a look that contrasted wildly from opponent and sitting president, George H. W. Bush. But even before his presidential run, the former Arkansas governor favored a laid-back wardrobe that we rarely see today. In the same way Barack Obama's sense of style evolved from stone-washed Dad jeans to tailored jackets, and not unlike the slouchy-suit criticism that's being thrown Paul Ryan's way, there's something particularly special about seeing a political figure in these early days -- before they're spun into a polished, fool-proof version of themselves. Style-wise, at least.

Yet, Clinton's approach felt a little more awesome, in our opinion. A fan of ratty t-shirts and Steve Jobs-worthy New Balance sneakers, he essentially jogged his way through the 1992 presidential campaign. Seen everywhere from the Washington Monument to the Alamo, on-the-trail Bill Clinton is our favorite Bill Clinton. And while the Secretary of State's husband's look has become decidedly more refined these days, we'll never forget some of his finer style moments, like when a saxophone-wielding, Ray Ban-wearing Clinton literally took the down house with his rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel" on the "Arsenio Hall Show."

In honor of the 42nd President's 66th birthday this Sunday, August 19th, we're taking a moment to reflect on the the big guy's many style triumphs and a few misfirings in the slideshow below. Look closely, you might even see a Hillary headband or two.

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1
1947
Popperfoto/Getty Images
2
1950s
AFP
3
1950s
Time & Life
4
1952
AFP
5
1960s
Getty
6
1963
Archive Photos
7
1978
Getty
8
1979
Getty
9
1988
NBC
10
1992
Time & Life
11
1992
AFP
12
1992
Time & Life
13
1992
Time & Life
14
1992
AFP
15
1992
Getty
16
1992
AFP
17
1992
AFP
18
1992
AFP
19
1992
AFP
20
1992
AFP
21
1992
AFP
22
1992
AFP
23
1992
AFP
24
1992
Getty
25
1992
Time & Life
26
1992
AFP
27
1992
Time & Life
28
1992
AFP
29
1992
AFP
30
1992
AFP
31
1992
AFP
32
1992
AFP
33
1992
AFP
34
1992
AFP
35
1992
AFP
36
1993
Time & Life
37
1993
AFP
38
1993
AFP
39
1993
Time & Life
40
1993
Hulton
41
1993
Time & Life
42
1993
Time & Life
43
1993
AFP
44
1993
AFP
45
1993
AFP
46
1993
AFP
47
1993
Getty
48
1993
Getty
49
1993
Time & Life
50
1993
AFP
51
1993
AFP
52
1993
Time & Life
53
1993
AFP
54
1993
WireImage
55
1993
AFP
56
1993
AFP
57
1993
AFP
58
1993
AFP
59
1993
AFP
60
1994
AFP
61
1994
Getty
62
1994
AFP
63
1994
AFP
64
1994
Time & Life
65
1995
AFP
66
1995
AFP
67
1996
AFP
68
1996
AFP
69
1996
Getty
70
1996
Getty
71
1996
AFP
72
1996
AFP
73
1998
The Washington Post
74
1998
AFP
75
1998
New York Daily News
76
1999
AFP
77
1999
AFP
78
2000
AFP
79
2000
AFP
80
2001
WireImage
81
2003
WireImage
82
2005
Getty
83
2005
Getty
84
2006
Hulton Archive
85
2007
Getty
86
2008
Getty
87
2008
Getty
88
2009
AFP
89
2010
AFP
90
2011
Getty
91
2010
AFP
92
2011
CBS
93
2011
FilmMagic
94
2012
Getty
95
2015
NurPhoto via Getty Images
96
2016
Johnny Louis via Getty Images
97
2016
MICHAEL B. THOMAS via Getty Images
98
2016
Alessio Botticelli via Getty Images
99
2016
Drew Angerer via Getty Images