TIME fashion

Political Fashion Statements From the 1952 Presidential Campaign

In 1952, photographer Nina Leen captured models decked out in clothes that offered strong -- and fashionable -- support for the GOP's presidential candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

These days, if you want to wear your politics on your sleeve, you don a campaign t-shirt. But in 1952, LIFE photographer Nina Leen captured models who were supporting Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower in much grander fashion. As these photographs attest, wearing pins, gloves, stockings and clothing that declared “I Like Ike” illustrated that political statements can be fashionable, too.

Of course, we wouldn’t go so far as to declare that these fashions played a central role in Eisenhower’s landslide victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson in November of that year. But they probably didn’t hurt.

Finally, a note about the fifth slide in this gallery, featuring a woman in a dress emblazoned with the phrase “Daft About Taft” — a reference to Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, who challenged Eisenhower for the GOP nomination in 1952. It’s worth remembering that just because a slogan rhymes doesn’t mean that it one should use it — especially if the implication is that the candidate’s supporters might be a little cuckoo.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

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