Today’s guest post is by Christina of The Style of Politics, a great blog that critiques women in government…
There is one question I am asked more than any other in writing The Style of Politics: Who is the best dressed woman in government? It’s a difficult one to answer, actually. There are a number of women who look great more often than not: Senator Susan Collins, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But my personal favorite wardrobe on the Hill belongs to Senator Claire McCaskill.
There’s a lot to think about when you get dressed in the morning, but I suggest you keep two elements at the forefront of your mind: color and shape. Senator McCaskill does both of these really well. You can do it too.
Senator McCaskill knows her best colors are light, warm and clear. She looked great in saturated pink at the World War II Memorial:
How do you know what colors are best for you? Try this test: gather tops or scarves in three pairs: a light and a dark, a warm and a cool, and a clear (or bright) and a muted color. Put each on one and have a look in the mirror. Which one in each pair looks best? If you’re not sure, look specifically at the area around your nose and mouth – if it looks ruddier, that’s not the right color for you. Also look under your eyes – if circles or bags become more pronounced, that’s not the right color either. A good color will make your skin tone look even and your eyes look bright and awake.
Senator McCaskill knows her best shapes are those that define her waist and elongate her torso, without being too stiff or boxy. She wore a great navy blazer and lemon yellow top on the Senate floor recently:
This jacket is tailored, defining her shoulders and waist, but she wears it open to keep it from boxing her in. The light color of her top underneath provides contrast with the jacket that creates a strong vertical line on the body. She looks authoritative and professional.
There’s a lot going on in that moment in front of the closet: What’s the weather like? What did I wear yesterday? What do I have to do today? What looks the most like that great dress I just saw on Corporette? But color and shape will never steer you wrong!
Readers, who is your favorite real-life style maven? What style tips have you learned from her example?
Is it just me, or does the Senator still look frumpy/boxy in that open, rather shapeless blazer? Though she is not an elected politician, I prefer political commentator Gwen Ifill’s look. She seems to do better with the shape of her jackets than Senator McCaskill. (Google Gwen Ifill images if you’re interested).
Gwen Ifill is my hero!!!!!
I would add Christianne Amonpour to the list of amazingly stylish women in politics, who aren’t actually politicians.
She always looks amazing & professional, even when reporting from inside a cave.
She is a personal hero of mine. It is rather amazing how she can look put together (even if she’s wearing safari clothes) on top of a building with bombs exploding around her.
I also love the recent posters of her for her new Sunday morning news show on ABC — she’s in a black suit & white button down, but totally not boring, and rather fantastic looking!
Please do not take this the wrong way, but I feel like a lot of plus-sized women get called out for looking “frumpy” just because of the fact that they are plus-sized. Her jacket seems to fit her very well, so are you maybe, just perhaps, actually calling her body shape “boxy?”
Again, I am not calling you out, just something I have noticed in society in general. Very few plus-sized women are recognized for being stylish or fashionable because they are larger than the models we usually see in the fashion magazines. I think that is a shame.
Gwen Ifill is not a petite woman, but manages not to look frumpy by wearing tailored jackets with wide lapels or interesting lines to them. So I don’t think it’s her body shape but rather what the dark jacket does (or doesn’t do) for the Senator. Maybe if she buttoned the jacket it would work better?
This is my thought too. Clothes can do a lot, but they won’t make most of us look like actresses or models, but those are the women we’re using to seeing photographs of and it’s hard not to interpret those photographs in light
Kirsten Gillibrand is a similar build & I think she always looks fantastic.
I think the jackets on CM look perfectly fitted in the shoulders but they also look like they’re too small (at least the pink) across the chest. I get that myself with some jackets (i.e., the ones that look great in the back, arms, and shoulder are too small to button properly, and the ones that button looks boxy or too big in the shoulders & back). It’s unfortunate but alterations are the solution (and the reason that men tend to have their suits fit better than women no matter how unique a guy’s particular shape).
Anon, a mouse!
I think the pink blazer shows her shape very nicely. The second one, I am having a hard time telling where the side of the jacket ends and shadows/her arm begin. It’s not the best pose, and I suspect that you’re seeing shadows and the jacket itself is not boxy. I do love her glasses, though.
am i the only one who think the pink blazer looks too small on her? it looks to me like it wouldn’t zip/button if she tried . . . or maybe its just a stretchy material that shrinks up when not fastened.
Hands down favorite is Sarah Palin. Not a fan of her politics (at all), but she always looks so put together and classy. Feel free to flame away, but I really think she looks fab.
I totally agree – and I cannot stand the woman, I mean, really cannot stand the woman. She has phenomenal stylists. The hair, however, could be better.
Agree — though I mentally see Tina Fey as the better looking version of her after those spoofs!
True. Hate Palin, like her style.
I agree with you that Palin looks terrific always, but I’m also wondering if it’s in part that she’s just a very good looking woman. She has a great figure, great face and knows how to work well with what she’s got.
I think that the figure & face are a BIG part! Just like it’s easier for, say, Obama to look nice in a suit than it is for Barney Frank.
I dislike Palin’s politics, but I think she’s a very attractive and well-built woman and looks great in clothing for the most part. I loved the Valentino jacket she wore on the campaign trail. The only piece that doesn’t work for me is the hair, but when she’s worn her hair down, I thought she’s looked fabulous.
I think she looks great too, except the hair (too poufy!) and glasses (not sure what bugs me about them). I can’t stand her personally either, but she does look awesome.
Yes, she dresses well, but sometimes (and even ignoring the well-documented history of this) she is a bit too stylish/trendy/fashionable for a politician in that it distracts from her message. Though, quite frankly, that may work to her benefit too.
I love Sarah Palin’s style… and her politics and her moral character and her fearlessness and her leadership skills too.
Before anyone accuses me- I’m not trolling. I’m a young lawyer and regular reader and commenter on Corporette.
I tend to respect people who are intellectually curious about how the world works, and that’s not the vibe I get from Sarah Palin. I agree she is charismatic. I wonder to what extent her evident good looks play into her charisma and leadership. (Though to be fair, Barack Obama is a handsome man as well.)
I am in a business in which I carefully select certain members of my staff to be taken out “in public” in front of my clients. If Sarah Palin worked for me, I’d have to keep her in the back room — she is just highly inarticulate and I could not have someone who can’t think on her feet in front of my clients. Thousands of forty-something working mothers are far more accomplished and articulate. Sorry.
Sorry, but these pictures show her as “ruddy” in the pink and still shapeless and boxy in the second photo… would be much more useful if the photos proved her points instead!
Yeah, I am not sure I would have picked these pics to illustrate why Claire McCaskill looks the best. The pink jacket doesn’t look like it closes on her & the black looks like it might not either. Not to harp on the small details, but there are probably better pics. :)
My take is that if the point of the pictures is to demonstrate what we should emulate, then they should be absolutely perfect… if it’s just a photo of ‘hey, it’s Claire McCaskill at XYZ event” then, fine, whatever
I like the 6 items idea. As I still can’t figure out if I’m a cool or a warm, I may have to try this.
The pink jacket is a great shape, but not a fan of the colour on her.
My hands down favourite is Senator Maria Cantwell. Sometimes her shoulder-pad suits from back in the day make an appearance but for the most part I love her outfits, jewelry, and hair.
I really like the jackets but the plain t-shirts under an open jacket look kind of throws me off. I think if you’re going to wear a jacket open, the shirt you wear under it should have a little more visual interest. Is that just me?
I wear that look all the time, though usually with a big statement necklace though.
I think a statement necklace would definitely have the same effect as a more interesting t-shirt. I just never wear them so that didn’t even occur to me.
I agree, it kind of cheapens the outfit to wear a Tshirt underneath IMO.
I like tee shirts under suits, but I think you just have to be careful with the kind of tee shirt (both color, drape & material matter), and you often benefitted from something else visually interesting like a necklace (as lawDJ points out).
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY’s Jr. Senator) does the tee under suit look a lot & I think it looks very elegant on her. In fact, she generally looks great more often than not (she would actually make for a great 360).
Also, love Maria Cantwell, Olivia Snowe (surprisingly quirky), as well as the others mentioned above.
Agree completely. I’ve also noticed this is a great look for pregnant women.
She looks awful.
Another note – I think senator mccaskill looks pretty bad in all of the pictures. That hair color does her no favors.
I also like Nancy Pelosi’s look – she is very well put together for a politician.
I like Pelosi from the neck down. She’s a good looking woman, but she has so much Botox and plastic surgery that it distracts from her overall put together appearance.
s in Chicago
I think part of it is how she accessorizes. Pelosi wears some of the best necklaces. I ALWAYS love her jewelry.
I like Nancy Pelosi too – sooo polished. Agree that she could lay off the botox and etc. somewhat…but don’t judge her too much for trying to preserve/make the best of what she has.
And I (sorry to poster) just totally fail to understand why these pix of this Senator have any bearing here…..and it’s not just being plus-size, these looks are just not that great.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of her look at all, or the other people C calls out – I don’t think of Secretary Clinton as particularly fashionable either.
For me, its the colored suits all of them seem to wear – there is nothing stylish about them! The only people I see wearing colored suits are middle-aged female politicians and the ‘ladies who lunch’ crowd. Neither one are particularly my style role models.
I think Clinton’s come a long way. She’s been looking very stylish these last two years.
She has developed a nice uniform for herself, in terms of what works on her & she gets things that suit her in many different colors, which I think is really efficient. I think that some people care more about clothes than others, have a better inherent sense of style than others, or even just have a better base to build from (e.g., Palin), but I think that Hillary has rather smartly figured out what her look should be & she’s done thinking about it — I think that’s really admirable!
apparently missouri is the “show-me-not-how-to-dress” state. i’m sorry, folks, i think she looks awfully frumpy and a little bit ticky-tack.
agree w/ “legally brunette- ” nancy pelosi = very elegant style.
Condi Rice always seemed to have well fitting suits and dresses. Plus she could rock those tall boots any time.
LOVED Condi’s style.
Surprised she was left out of the OP’s list….I loved her style.
Am I the only one who has never heard “clear” refered to a way to describe a color? Am I correct in surmising it just means “bright”?
Just a bit confused b/c if I said someone was wearing a “clear” scarf — it would most certainly be transparent . . .
In color theory, “clear” refers to the printers’ primaries (magenta, cyan, and yellow) and combinations of those colors. They are pure, bright, vivid colors.
Colors that are not “clear” have been desaturated by tint (white), shade (black), or tone (grey).
There is your daily dose of vocab from my realm ;)
Very interesting, thanks! :)
Yeah, I had no idea! Thanks :)
This is weird, but the personality counts as much as the outfit, IMHO. I think Clare looks lovely; not afraid to show some curves and sex appeal, IMHO. But she’s lovely inside and out; so reasonable and reassuring.
Sarah Palin dresses well. I bought the black wool/silk Tahari suit with a tie jacket that she wore to her debate with Biden [yes, thought it was Valentino!!]). I also liked her black biker jacket with the flag pin (hawt!). But her shrillness and meanness is a real turn-off.
Hillary can look quite lovely in bright colors. I like this one alot: http://www.topnews.in/files/Hillary-Clinton10.jpg
Carly Fiorina dresses like, well, a CEO. I love her style.
Condi Rice had some cute looks, but her cold, frigid demeanor always took away from her style quotient, in my opinion.
Last, but not least, Nancy Pelosi … She rocks the mother-f**g house in my book. Armani down to the socks. Hair impeccable. Pearls that make you gasp. Adore her. (I did live in the Bay Area, so I’ll betray my bias).
I posted this before, but I think that coral outfit makes Hillary look washed out. It looks like she’s a winter, because the blueish red combo she’s wearing in the link below looks so much better on her to me. Maybe it’s a matter of opinion.
I definitely agree that the personality (and dare I say political leanings) count alot too.
I love both Condi Rice and Sarah Palin, both fashion-wise and politcal/personality-wise. Condi’s style (aside from the knee high boots which were AWESOME) seems a bit more classic and buttoned-up – makes her look like a woman to be reckoned with.
Sarah’s style is not how your typical republican female politician uniform, but I think it fits her dynamic personality. And she can pull off red like nobody’s business.
Love Pelosi’s pearls, but that’s about it. And I really am not a fan of the pastel suits, I just feel like they make her look like an aged harpie.
I will agree though that Hillary has come ALONG way from when Bill was in office. Where was her stylist then?
*Sorry if I offended anyone with my opinions, but I was just pointing out my agreement with Lawgirl that personality/opinion can have just as big an opinion as the actual clothes worn.
Lawgirl, I was already enjoying your post, then you channeled/paraphrased Biggie with the “[Armani] down the socks,” and I think I love your post even more now.
I am really surprised by the Hillary Clinton mention in the article. I would never consider her stylish. She has come a long way since her days as First Lady, however you can tell it is a constant struggle for her to look at all stylish or put together. While I respect her as a polititian, style icon…I think not. She always looks uncomfortable in her clothes. And don’t get me started on that hair!! Did anyone see her on the Today show this morning?!?! Awful hair!!
Hillary looks lovely here, IMHO. Red is a power color for female politicians, but she wears it WELL. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/03/04/2008-03-04_hillary_clinton_scores_wins_in_texas_and.html
Here’s a perfect example of wearing the right shade for you. Hillary in coral/orange red looks ghostly, Hillary in blue-toned red looks awesome (last picture).
That red is fabulous on her, she looks great!
You nailed it. I’ve never seen Hillary look so good. Nice suit, nice hair, nice lipstick.
Her foundation is way off.
I think the new hair is her Mother of the Bride hair — I’m hoping she goes back to her old cut after C’s wedding.
Anon, a mouse!
I think the moral of this thread is that women who can afford designer clothing, a good tailor and a stylist look awesome. Sadly, that’s not something 99% of career women can emulate.
I do think Hillary has good style. I’d probably look fabulous in a pantsuit too, if I could afford a closet full of designer ones and have them tailored to fit my curves. She also always has very tasteful and elegant coats in cold weather. Nancy Pelosi also always looks very pulled-together, but the obvious Botox detracts from her style IMO. I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin’s overall look, and Michele Bachman always seems to have slightly smeared makeup. I don’t see much of Susan Collins but when I do she tends to look great. However, in my opinion Michelle Obama is definitely the best dressed woman in politics, if you’ll call her that, right now.
I love Michelle Obama too, but boy, she’s a prime example of how a virtually unlimited cash infusion, a stylist, and hair & makeup can transform a woman! Back when Barack was a state senator, Mrs. O was quite ordinary and often homely looking, IMHO.
Totally agree. Back in the day she was not looking very good. She looks very good now but she isn’t a conventional beauty by any means. Rather, she knows how to make the most of her positive attributes.
Michelle Obama has some VERY questionable fashion choices. The dress she wore on election night was AWFUL. I wish I could make that word bigger to fully emphasize how awful it was. And there is no excuse – she knew she would be photographed a million times in a million poses regardless of who won. And then there was that blue Grecian dress she wore recently that her boob was literally spilling out of (this one: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20005519-10391698.html). She has a great figure but obviously not the figure for a dress like that.
Anon, a mouse!
I loved her election night dress. That blue one, not so much.
Questionable choices include wearing a sleeveless party dress to a solemn, posthumous Medal of Honor ceremony. What was she thinking??
Now you have me interested in seeing photos of her during the Senate years.
I actually liked her look a lot better then, frankly. She’s trying a little too hard to be a politician’s wife, and is playing up all the female / wifely stereotypes – I mean the constant wearing of dresses rather than suits, the relaxed (maybe overly so?) style of her clothes, the sleevelessness, the lack of jackets and love of cardigans, the emphasis on food and children in her projects. She’s a Harvard lawyer / major hospital executive, and it seems that she’s using style to soften that.
Prior to leaving the workplace, her style was that of so many of us – working women, working moms, and overachieving chicks :-)
N, I had never really thought about her dressing from that perspective, and I completely agree with you.
Boy, I’m posting up a storm. Fashion + Politics = MY THING!
I like Laura Bush’s style too, actually. She was sort of anti-stylish stylish. She looked so cute in this dress: http://www.wowowow.com/files/abelonsky/Getty_Michelle_andLaura.jpg
I also loved the gray/lavendar cashmere coat she wore when they helicoptered from the White House on Obama’s inauguration day.
I agree. Laura had a personal style that was just HER, and really, isn’t that what style should be? An expression of who we are?
Not a fan of Laura Bush’s style–I think her clothing always made her look bigger and less shapely than she was.
Anon, a mouse!
Oh, I forgot about her. Her red inauguration gown was basically the best dress ever. It was so totally her, and so lovely and elegant. Beautiful.
Exactly, LegallyBlonde – I loved Laura because she seemed ok in her skin, she wasn’t dolled up by this-and-that designer and “transformed” like so many other political wives. No, her fashion choices weren’t always perfect, but she wore expensive, nice clothes and seemed confident and lovely. I love her!
Anon, a mouse!
This is the dress I mean:
Texas hometown girl all grown up. I love it.
Michelle looks slamming in that picture. Just awesome.
Pelosi looks great always. McCaskill looks pretty good considering, but could do better. Palin always looks great, but she has many advantages going for her.
Color palette – I don’t see how you can do this yourself. I first had mine done professionally when I was 12 – it never changes! Have it done once (correctly) and you are set for life! So important!
75 – your coloring can certainly change if you spend significant time outdoors (becoming freckled or darker as a result) or if you highlight / color your hair.
This is sort of a threadjack, but the comment above about the colored suits got me thinking. I bought this suit and am not sure whether to keep it. It looks good on but I still have some doubts, especially because it’s more than I generally spend for suits (my suits are mostly BR and J. Crew). Thoughts?
What kind of work do you do? This suit, while cute, screams trendy and along the lines of something you would get at the Limited for a lot less. I’m not a fan of short sleeved suits generally, so that’s my personal bias. I don’t have any problems with the color though, it’s a pretty muted color.
It’s a lovely suit but it strikes me as something that would look great on a size 0 to a size 8. When the lines start to bow out a bit, it will probably ruin the look. I’m a size 12, so I got plenty of love for the bigger women, but most designer do not.
Yeah, this isn’t the suit color people are talking about when they say “colored suits”–in that case, they’re usually referring to the pastels/corals and maybe a bright red.
I agree w/ Sadie though in that it depends on what field you’re in. As a lawyer, I wouldn’t wear this to court or an interview, but it’d be fine on a regular ol’ day at the office. Certainly trendier than most suits you see b/c of the short sleeves and piping.
Saw that suit on the anniversary sale today. I wouldn’t spend that much on a colored suit or one with short sleeves. I also think the hardwear (back belt buckle, buttons) plus the seaming is overly trendy. Unless it looks really great on, I would probably bring it back.
Anon, a mouse!
I think that style of suit, with the almost-cap, puffy sleeves, looks very, very young. I almost exclusively see it on trendy support staff, interns and very junior professional staff. It doesn’t convey authority, which is probably what you want to convey when you wear a suit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing a suit like this if you don’t mind looking trendy and young, but it’s not an investment piece and I wouldn’t spend $284 just for the jacket.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am a lawyer, and the points that it is a trendy suit and likely not worth that much money are very well-taken. I will likely return it.
A voice of dissent: I think it’s cute and can be timeless. It’s lovely. And I’d wear it as a 40 year old in a (snap).
I think that it’s an interesting suit. I am picturing it on Lisa Cuddy from House. If you are built similarly to her & would feel comfortable with that look, keep it. Otherwise I would return it.
PS: Agree with the color not really being a true “colored” suit as discussed above. Great color!
Love. I’m a lawyer, and I think it’s beautiful. Something to liven up a boring week at the office.
I saw that suit at the sale and love it! I think it’s nice to have a fun suit or two to liven things up a bit. I agree with most people that you probably have to have the right figure to pull it off.
Agreed. Would be great for a day when you don’t have to be uber conservative (a day with no court appearances or client meetings). I think the pieces would look great broken up too. Jacket w/ a black pencil skirt or slacks and the skirt on its own with the right blouse or sweater.
Not in law but here is my take. I like the suit, but definately think it falls in the “cute and casual” catagory rather than the “super professional and authoritative” catagory. It looks like something that would fit in well in an office where you are not required to wear a suit, and also something you could wear out to dinner or to an after work function without looking too conservative.
Kat, while I understand this is your blog and your medium of expression, I am continually perplexed as to why Republican women are never featured as fashionistas or female icons on Corporette. I genuinely feel that you are missing the boat on this one. Female professional fashion is a bipartisan issue. As a professional Republican fashionista, I have zero qualms about recognizing and embracing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ style. That said, no matter how toned Michelle Obama’s arms are, that it is never appropriate for a woman to appear sleeveless at important functions, and that she should not be able to eschew the proper bounds of professional dress merely because people are enchanted by her or agree with her politics. Yes, I am a fan of Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin, both in fashion and politics, but I also truly admire Hillary Clinton as a woman for her intelligence, strength, professionalism, and panache. At the end of the day, all of Corporette’s readers are on “team overachieving professional females fashionista,” despite where we choose to cast our votes come election day.
I’m a liberal and absolutely agree with Amy. I’m surprised that Sarah Palin was not mentioned in this post as being a very fashionable politician. Whether you love her or hate her, few people would deny that she usually looks amazing. She’s not afraid of color and of taking a few fashion risks from time to time.
The position of the First Lady is not an elected one, carries no official duties, and receives no salary, so I don’t get why so many folks think that First Lady Obama needs to be dressed as a corporate drone.
Actually, First Lady is an official title and does carry official duties. The first lady is the white house hostess and has duties as such, most of which involve public image, and so she should be required and able to dress appropriately for the function (which Michelle, though she usually looks good, does not always – hate hate HATE that she wears cocktail dresses to the state of the union). A number of presidents have had first ladies who were not their wives because they were single or their wives didn’t want the hostess role, so they got someone else. James Buchanan comes to mind; his niece was first lady.
HATED her state of the union dress.
She still needs to meet a certain level of decorum if she is going to appear at these functions with the President. She and the President represent our country at appearances like this. That’s how it has been since Martha Washington. If you have been reading this blog, then you know you can have style, dress appropriately, and not look like a corporate drone.
“As a professional Republican fashionista, I have zero qualms about recognizing and embracing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ style. That said, no matter how toned Michelle Obama’s arms are, that it is never appropriate for a woman to appear sleeveless at important functions”
Jacqueline Onassis DID appear sleeveless at important functions all the time, though.
Ditto, plus many of these functions are evening events, are you really saying that women cannot bare arms at galas?
Glad you brought it up, lawDJ. I love Jackie’s style and can never figure out why Ms O gets slammed for bare arms when Jackie wasn’t….
Isn’t this the same discussion we have had here before about whether to wear a cocktail dress at a conference dinner or a suit – whether to look social for a pseudo social event, or whether looking social makes you look like a date and not the attendee?
Think of the angst women lawyers and bankers (and other professionals but I am speaking only from my experience) have when trying to dress for the firm holiday party….
So, Sharon, are you saying that it was fine that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis appeared sleeveless at White House functions, but it’s not OK for the current First Lady to do so? Just wanting clarification.
Oh never mind Sharon, I see that you were quoting Amy above. Sorry about that.
Not sure if there is some confusion or not, but Kat did not write the above post.
Do agree that style is a bipartisan issue.
As an aside though — Nancy Reagan bared her arms plenty & at very important state functions, too, and that was over 25 years ago! But I did kind of cringe to see the “guns” come out for the official state portrait . . . then again I wish everyone would still dress like they did in MadMen half the time, so . . .
Here’s one picture I found at least. I think she looks great:
Actually, this Nancy Reagan dress looks a lot like Obama’s white inauguration dress, just less poofy:
Ok I’ll stop now, but check out those guns!
Anon, a mouse!
Gosh, I always forget how tiny she was. (Is?)
Both of those NR shots are obviouslyt evening events, not daytime ones where she meets heads of state. I shuddered when I saw Michelle O. throw her arm around the Queen of England while wearing a J. Crew cardigan.
Anon, a mouse!
That’s exactly the kind of attitude we fought the Revolutionary War over.
Wait, I’m totally confused. I thought that we were talking about baring arms. Now we’re talking about it being inappropriate to wear a cardigan?
I have to confess I don’t follow Mrs. O’s looks enough whether she’s bared arms with heads of states in daytime events, but I fail to see 1) how a cardigan is inappropriate, 2) why you can’t bare arms at evening events!
(that last bit had me thinking … is our right to bare our arms like the right to bear arms? it seems like it for all the discussion/fighting it has engendered!)
While Kat didn’t write the post, I agree that female professional dress has no party boundaries (I think even beyond Republican/Democrat), and that all women who one would consider style icons should be featured.
However, I do not agree that “it is never appropriate for a woman to appear sleeveless at important functions.” Putting aside the fact that Michelle Obama is not an elected official, I see nothing wrong with a woman bearing her arms at any sort of evening function, especially the kinds of black tie events she attends. What is she supposed to wear then, a suit?
Amy, note that many commenters immediately added Sarah Palin to the list, and were able to distinguish between politics that they disagree with, and her style / personal presentation.
Anon, a mouse!
You can’t get much more Republican than Michele Bachmann, who was mentioned in the post. Besides, Kat didn’t write it.
Anon, a mouse!
And Sarah Palin is not a woman in government. Sarah Palin is a woman who quit government.
Those pictures do not do Sen McCaskill any justice. She looks like any ordinary fifty-something or sixty-something matronly woman in those outfits.
Okay, I’ve been looking for a smart, shaped, interesting jacket option for Senator McCaskill. I think I found one:
Oooh I really like that jacket! Too bad they don’t have it in my size. But I think I could pull it off at a “business casual” law firm (and even though I’m in my young 30s and this is a “color” suit)
Actually, those are pretty good pics of MCaskill.
Anon, a mouse!
Clare McCaskill consistently looks great. I don’t know why the blogger picked those three photos. There are dozens of great shots of her online.
Wow, that is a woman who was born to wear mauve and dusty purple. It’s amazing how different she looks in different colors. There is a lesson there, I think. It also makes me realize why some women-of-a-certain-age stick to colored suits. Black and navy get harder as you get older, unless you’re a winter.
has anyone else noticed that all of these women have short hair? what does that mean for the long-haired ladies among us?
I think it’s an age thing–for some reason people think long hair=younger. I don’t like it, but that’s how it is, and I suspect politicians don’t usually want people to think of them as young/inexperienced. Though I can think of several women Representatives that have slightly longer hair, so maybe it’s more of Senate thing.
Color, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated wardrobe elements. I know black is a safe choice for most occasions, but wearing bits of color here and there really tend to make you look better.
Personally, I think that for most people black is not the most flattering color. You can be equally conservative/formal in navy ,charcoal, or dark brown (well, maybe dark brown isn’t *quite* as formal) and those colors will be more flattering. I don’t know the technical terms for it but somehow I think colors bring out colors, and make skin/eyes/hair look more vibrant, whereas black tends to be dulling.
I love Diane Sawyer. I love her hair, makeup, when she wears glasses, everything about her. I love Robyn Roberts too. I don’t know who’s styling ABC News, but they’re doing a great job with those two ladies.
I would like to see a 360 on The Good Wife.
Yes, seconded, on both Julianne Marguiles’ character, and Christine Boranski’s. Not too interested in Archie P.’s character’s style, though I like her acting. But her character’s style is (purposely) way too out there for professional/at work wear for most women.
The woman in government whose style I most admire is Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (whew, long title), Tammy Duckworth.
Do a google image search on her name, and then tell me that you don’t think she dresses *perfectly* for her situation.