There’s a whiff of publicity stunt about Esquire magazine’s decision to name
Esquire approvingly quotes Mark-Evan Blackman, an assistant professor of menswear design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who says the pope's attire "really does reflect the mindset behind it."
A defender of the red-shoe-wearing
In fact, Benedict's fondness for finery -- especially the elaborate vestments he wore at religious rites -- represented a departure from the more austere tastes of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.
As I pointed out in a column in The Times a few years ago: “Benedict has returned to his liturgical roots, sporting massive miters, celebrating Mass in the Sistine Chapel with his back to the congregation and leading
Intermingled with Benedict's preference for elaborate vestments was his belief in a bright line between the clergy and laity. By contrast, Francis has been critical of "clericalism." That attitude is reflected by the new pope's decision to re-mothball the gold, jeweled miters that Benedict favored. At his inaugural Mass, Francis wore a plain miter and relatively unadorned vestments.
Francis is unlikely to go so far as dispensing with vestments altogether (as some priests in the Anglican Church want to do), but clearly the red shoes and jeweled miters conflict with his notion of a clergy that serves rather than rules. So Esquire is on firm ground in inferring that clothes make the pope.