LORD Elis-Thomas, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, was yesterday elevated to the role of fashion guru, named the most sartorial politician in Wales.
The former university lecturer, who wears suits by Armani and Jasper Conran, took the top fashion prize at a "glittering" awards ceremony in the Assembly. But he said his fashion sense was all down to fellow Welshman, newsreader Huw Edwards.
Judges were shown video footage of the smartly-dressed Peer stepping out to the tune of David Bowie's Fashion, when he showed them what he is made of in the wardrobe department.
He slips with ease from a smart suit when mixing in royal circles, accompanying Prince Charles or the Queen, to putting on a hard hat and overalls on a building site.
An independent panel of judges for the BBC Wales political programme am.pm were unanimous in their choice of the Life Peer from Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, who is also known for his eye-catching line in pocket handkerchiefs and is as elegant as he is eloquent.
Although the judges said all the nominees possessed that certain something, they thought Lord Elis-Thomas had even more of it than his rivals, who included AMs Eleanor Burnham, Alun Pugh and Rhodri Glyn Thomas.
BBC Wales' politics managing editor Ashok Ahir, said, "People often say there aren't any characters left in politics - we just hope this shows there are."
Lord Elis Thomas believes in dressing to suit the occasion in a way that doesn't draw unwanted attention.
He said yesterday, "I don't want to sound like a clothes horse or a fashion victim but I think the least we can do in public life is to dress appropriately for the occasion, like my friend the news reader Huw Edwards."
Lord Elis-Thomas can cut a dash in the city but can equally look the part of a country gent in a flat cap, tweeds and even plus fours at rural events, such as the Winter Fair held recently in Llanelwedd, Powys, last week.
He said he buys his suits from Howells in Cardiff and his country-wear to trudge around Snowdonia from Ogwen Davies' Tailor shop in the Conwy Valley.
He added, "I always wear a suit for plenary sessions. Being a short Welshman of a regular size I find that I just walk into Italian suits that are size 40.
"They can cost up to £600 but I try to buy them in the sales, together with Hermes ties.
"But I always change between town and country, there's no point in wearing a pin-striped suit to the Welsh Black cattle market in Dolgellau, they would think I was from another planet.
"I've managed to keep my weight to under 11 stone over the years and can still fit in my wedding suit from almost 12 years ago."
He said his wife Mair, chief interpreter at the Assembly, controls what he wears in the week.
"At the weekend I wear flat caps that she thinks are disgusting, with check shirts and trousers.
"I was pleased to win the award, I've got a proper silver cup."
But Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who is another snappy dresser, said he was gutted to lose out.
He recently stripped naked, covering his modesty with his carefully placed feet, in an arty calendar in aid of Autism Cymru.
He said, "My suits are far sharper than his without a doubt, I'm not known for my ties - I'm more of a suits and shoes man. I've got quite a collection.
"If there had been a competition with our clothes off, I would definitely have won without a doubt!"
Tracy Pritchard, senior lecturer in Fashion Design at the University Wales Newport, said the need for politicians to look good as well as to talk sense started when the New Labour government came to power in May 1997.
She said, "There was a need for not just economic recovery and job recreation but revival from John Major's wardrobe."