This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Nov. 30, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, what your appearance says about you.
Our pal Michael Moore showed up on the "Leno" program last night in a suit, clean shaven, a little haircut there, saying if you can't beat them, dress like them. Apparently, Moore sees the future, and it is boardroom chic.
There is no question that we in America often judge people on how they look. For example, much thought was put into how the presidential candidates dressed during the debates.
With us now is an expert on personal appearance. Joseph Abboud (search) is a designer and co-author of the book "Threads: My Life Behind the Scenes in the High-Stakes World of Fashion." And in the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Abboud provided the clothing here on “The Factor” for a good long while.
Let — were you surprised to see Moore looking the way he did here?
JOSEPH ABBOUD, AUTHOR, "THREADS": I was shocked. I mean to see that transformation was amazing, and I guess if you can't beat them, join them.
O'REILLY: Is that what you think it is? I think he's just trying to get more attention.
ABBOUD: You know, it's a little bit of showbiz. I think...
ABBOUD: I do think that it was a good message, Moore sort of moving back to a conservative look. Guys are getting dressed again, doing business face to face.
O'REILLY: But nobody's going to buy him as a conservative.
O'REILLY: I mean, he's going to be a slob no matter what he does.
ABBOUD: But I do think he did presented himself better, and I think that's really important. To go the way — to present himself in a — sort of the beard, the scruff, I thought that was just unprofessional.
O'REILLY: You think — you think that more people are going to listen to what he says that he — when he looks like this?
ABBOUD: No, I don't think they're going to listen to the message, but I do think he looks better.
O'REILLY: All right.
ABBOUD: I clearly think he looks better.
O'REILLY: Let's go to the debates because this is — they spent an enormous amount of time, both Bush and Kerry, on what they were going to wear.
O'REILLY: So let's take a look at Bush first and analyze what the message is by the clothing that they wear because this is a powerful signal, is it not?
ABBOUD: Absolutely. I mean, George Bush is a no-nonsense dresser. He's got well-made suits. He doesn't show a lot of style, but he shouldn't as a president. We don't want him thinking about his shirt and tie.
O'REILLY: He's a traditionalist.
ABBOUD: Very much so. And interestingly enough, very simple blue ties. He knows he looks good in blue. And he sends a message of strength in his clothes, and I think that's something that we look to.
O'REILLY: All right. So the conservative traditional cut, two-button cut — he doesn't wear three buttons.
ABBOUD: That's right.
O'REILLY: Same with me. I don't wear three buttons.
ABBOUD: That's right. You're a two-button guy.
O'REILLY: I never wear double breasted because I'm tall. This sends a message of authority?
ABBOUD: I think the simple suit, the dark gray suit, the dark blue suit is a message of authority. He's not — Al Gore in 2000 got the earth- tone suit.
O'REILLY: No good.
ABBOUD: It was a disaster.
O'REILLY: Yes. That was Naomi Wolf.
ABBOUD: It was absolutely — and it looked like he had no...
O'REILLY: Because people don't want warm and cuddly presidents. They want tough.
ABBOUD: And it looked like — it looked like he didn't have his own point of view. He was buying someone's image.
O'REILLY: All right. Let's take a look at Kerry now. Kerry looked, I thought, very good in the debates.
ABBOUD: He did.
O'REILLY: He was sharp. His — obviously, his suits are very expensive and — what does that message say?
ABBOUD: Well, he's very Northeast Ivy League. Two-button suit. He's tall. He's good-looking.
ABBOUD: Very — in the spirit of Kennedy. It's a very, I think, Harvard Square look, but he wears it well. Natural shoulder. And I think he carries it off beautifully.
O'REILLY: When — is he as authoritative-looking at Bush?
ABBOUD: I think he is.
O'REILLY: Because it's another traditional presentation.
ABBOUD: I absolutely think he was. I think it was more the issue of makeup. There was a lot of issues with makeup, and, unfortunately, one day when he appears a little bit too orange — I think...
O'REILLY: Yes. Well, he had the — he had the...
ABBOUD: The wrong makeup.
O'REILLY: ... spray tan, right?
ABBOUD: Whatever it was...
O'REILLY: You got that? Don't you — is that a real tan?
ABBOUD: No, that's — that's a real tan.
O'REILLY: You've got the real one.
ABBOUD: I have the real one. But I thought that was so false, and he's such a...
O'REILLY: Yes, it was ridiculous.
ABBOUD: You know, and his best moment was his concession speech.
O'REILLY: Right. You don't want — yes, you don't want...
ABBOUD: He was most natural.
O'REILLY: If you're going to run for the president, you don't want to be orange.
ABBOUD: Absolutely not.
O'REILLY: Orange is not good.
ABBOUD: It did — it's not a good fashion color.
O'REILLY: All right. Let's — let's take Hillary Clinton because Mrs. Clinton spends an enormous amount of time and money on her clothing. Very few people know this. What image — now this is different from a man. A man can get away with, like I do, just a very simple look. She's got to do what?
ABBOUD: You know, she's moved away — in the White House, she had so many different hairstyles. She's much more serious, much more intense. You notice her hair is shorter. She wears darker...
ABBOUD: She's more intense in terms of the color, and she wants to be taken more seriously, and I think she looks great. I actually think she looks really terrific. And then a little feminine piece, like maybe pearls or something.
ABBOUD: But she's done it well. I think she's transformed to...
O'REILLY: So she's — she's not real stylish.
ABBOUD: But she doesn't want to be. I think — as a senator, I think it's important for her to be taken seriously.
O'REILLY: All right. So movie stars and pop people — they can be...
ABBOUD: It's a different world.
O'REILLY: They can do whatever they want.
O'REILLY: But when you have authority and responsibility, you have to look like me.
ABBOUD: It's like anchors. Well, anchors. You know, we've done a lot with anchors. No, we've done a lot with anchors, as you know.
ABBOUD: Those are the guys we want to dress. They are the — they are authority. People look to how they dress, and that's important for us as a company.
O'REILLY: All right. Joe, we appreciate you coming in. Very good book.
ABBOUD: Thanks very much.
O'REILLY: Anyone who wants some style, get it please.
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