Michael Preston Green:
Perennial powerhouse Michael Preston Green is not surprised that he has won, once again, the Best Dressed (male) award for 2011. For him, taking time to dress well is part of who he is and how he prepares to be successful.
He’s earned the recognition, year after year, he says, not by following fashion trends or styles, but by keeping his dress as traditional as it was when he was an undergraduate at Yale nearly 50 years ago.
“I dress not by the styles in some magazine telling me what is now in vogue,” Green says. “I try to choose clothes that are professional and accentuate the positives in terms of myself and what I do for a living.”
Green, formerly of Fennemore Craig, is an attorney and partner at the law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck in Phoenix.
His wardrobe, he says, has evolved with his tastes, but he still favors a Brooks Brothers suit, not least because the label offers several fabric weights, an important consideration in the Arizona climate.
“Once in a while, I throw in an Armani, for variety,” he jokes.
Green also spends part of the year in Panama, where he serves as an adviser to members of the government. He says people are decidedly more formal dressers in that country as compared to Americans.
“I’m disturbed by the trend here in informality,” he says. “You don’t see it there or in other parts of the world.”
Green says a professional appearance shows respect for the institution of the Legislature and for public service, where he has spent the bulk of his career.
“Working at the Capitol and with the governor is important,” he says. “You need to look the part.”
Although he has criticized President Barack Obama and other prominent American officials for informality, including a preference among men for going tie-less, Green says he’s noticed a trend around the Arizona Capitol away from the informal look.
“It pleases me no end when I look around nowadays and see so many well-dressed lobbyists and politicians, because they realize that it is important,” he says.
He also realizes, however, what so many well-dressed individuals means for his reign over the Best Dressed category.
“It frightens me that I have so many worthy opponents out there,” he says. “I know they are gunning for me, but I say, ‘Bring it on.’”
Commissioner Bob Stump’s feet were in the nation’s Capitol when he was contacted about winning the “Shoes (male)” category for Best of the Capitol.
“The secret to winning,” the corporation commissioner wrote in an email, “is to buy quality, not quantity, always think Italian, and to keep one’s wingtips close to the grassroots.”
Stump should know a lot about choosing the right footwear, because he covered a lot of ground when he served in the Legislature, both while campaigning for office and working for his District 9 constituents. He served in the Arizona House from 2002 to 2008, when he was elected to his seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Like Michael Preston Green, a past winner, Stump believes that a well-dressed professional is one properly shod. He was actually having dinner with Green when he learned he had won this year’s award.
“The good news made an otherwise unremarkable evening remarkable,” Stump wrote. “Michael was green with envy — he wants to win it all, but understandably came up short.”
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