Leggy Leader

Leggy Leader
This man suffers from an advanced state of The Palin Syndrome

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fashion rocks: Sarah's style is subtle, yet striking

Nothing gets me more excited about the Grace & Glory than talking about her fashion. It is sheer perfection. Now, I'm actually having oodles of fun with all the women headlining this election, but there is something about Sarah's sassy sets that stands out from the rest. This columnist below eloquently points on the strengths (weaknesses?) of Sarah's wardrobe. My comments in bold blue.

Commentary: Palin's subtle attire speaks volumes
By ROBIN GIVHAN Washington Post
Oct. 1, 2008, 5:21PM

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's style is exceptionally ordinary. Nothing about it connotes authority. No detail announces that she is in charge. And that's what makes it so powerful. um, duh..though I don't think her style is exceptionally ordinary.

The rimless glasses that dominate her face are as banal as modern spectacles come. The entire goal of their design is to have them go unnoticed. They are not meant to frame her features as much as they are crafted to avoid detracting from her big brown eyes. they glasses are hot because they are so sleek...almost futuristic even.

Her clothes are unpretentious, but they are also unremarkable. They have nothing to do with fashion. It's fashion show season now, with designers unveiling their spring 2009 collections in New York, Milan and Paris. So far, none of them have suggested that the next new thing for the power-wielding woman is a straight black skirt with a boxy, oyster-colored blazer, which is what Palin wore when she accepted the vice-presidential nomination in St. Paul, Minn. I think that is what makes SP so great is that she goes her own way and doesn't rely on trends and facts and stuff to do her own thing. Again, how many REAL Americans do you know pay attention to NYC Fashion Week?

In the narrow confines of political style, the accepted rule is to dress in a manner that implies empathy for one's constituency — so don't wear anything too expensive — but also conveys authority. Palin has embraced the former and utterly ignored the latter. Nothing about her style jibes with the image of power. She does not dress like a boss lady, an Iron Lady or the devil who wore Prada. What exactly does power look like? Power can be found in a pair of jeans or a robe...just ask Jesus about that one.

Her clothes don't have the aura of sophistication like that of Michelle Obama's sheaths and pearls. They do not have a patina of glamour like Cindy McCain's heiress wardrobe. And they do not announce themselves with the confidence, assertiveness and listen-to-me-ness of Sen. Hillary Clinton's bold pantsuits. Palin's clothes are common. Everyone knows someone who dresses like her, which is partly why so many folks seem to think that they know her.
Palin likes to wear a super-size Old Glory brooch that shouts with as much patriotic bravado as one of those monster flags that wave from a car dealership. Her flag was on display during a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. And for the record, it has no kin among the statement jewelry currently being championed on the runway. Who cares about the runway? Old Glory doesn't need approval from the liberal, fashion elite. And what is so outstanding about Michelle's fashion (and I love it) when she gets her clothes from the Gap, Old Navy, White House/Black Market, H&M, etc.? Hillary's pantsuits? Nothing to write home about, but they look good on her. Cindy? I haven't found much that I like on her and her shit costs the most. So exactly doesn't SP measure up in her sexy pencil skirts, bold colors and sassy shoes?

The ruby slippers she wore on the campaign trail, the ones she paired with the black jacket and skirt that pulled just so across her hips, churn up images of another small-town girl who'd suddenly landed in Oz. A peep-toe pump is coy — coquettish even. But not an emblem of gravitas. And those same shoes are on back order in every store and on every website that carries them.

Despite what every optometrist with a publicity agent has to say, there is nothing remotely striking about her eyeglasses. It's only notable in an age of contact lenses and Lasik surgery that anyone in the public spotlight regularly wears them at all — except, perhaps, when they're trying to make a point, such as when television interviewers keep a pair of reading glasses perched on the tip of their nose in a way that makes them look like professors skeptical of a student's ability to withstand their Socratic interrogation.

Palin is the girl next door. And yes, much about her attire emphasizes youthfulness, most distinctly her hair.

The hair, which has been highlighted, teased and scrunched, is a standard-issue, mommy-is-in-a-rush style. Since motherhood has been laid out by her campaign like one of the pillars of national service, the mop-top hairdo is practically a battle scar. Her hair is signature and classic. It's lush and full and I'm sure The Todd enjoys burying his nose in it.

Executive women tend to avoid wearing their hair in ponytails or looking like they have it tacked to the top of their head with a chip clip. Like a good female news anchor, they get themselves a haircut that falls no further than the shoulders, is feminine and easy to maintain. They do not want to be wind-blown and tousled when they walk into a boardroom. Hair shouldn't be a distraction. is Sarah's hair a distraction, or her awesome wildnerness beauty?

Palin doesn't have Maria Menounos's Pantene hair. But it is chestnut brown and long and is the antithesis of what most women do with it as they come into their own. Hello, Maverick!

Palin has been referred to as America's hottest governor by sources as varied as Alaska Magazine and button-wearing Republican conventioneers. But Palin's power isn't in her physical looks as much as in the packaging.

Palin seems to dress for pretty rather than powerful. She is willing to be sexual, with the occasional fitted jacket and high heels. She wears dangly earrings.

She talks tough. She doesn't blink. She speaks of "guys and gals." What is a gal? One thinks of a waitress in a bar who knows that if she pretends she doesn't notice when a guy's ogling her legs and gives as good as she gets when it comes to off-color jokes, life will go along more smoothly. She's not one of the guys, but she doesn't confront them with either a lawyer or rhetoric from a women's studies seminar.

Palin's style serves as evidence that a woman can step onto the national political stage without having to manipulate her wardrobe into some torturous costume calibrated to make her look authoritative but not threatening, feminine but not sexy. Palin proves that a woman can wear red patent-leather shoes and still take questions on foreign policy and the economy. Damn right. Her style is uniquely her own and she wears what looks good. I have so many favorites, but I'm still in love with the pink and gray she wore for Couric's interview. I can't wait to see what she wears tonight at the debate!

The test is whether this particular gal knows the answers. Looking good doesn't hurt! Screw you, feminists!

1 comment:

Vern said...

You have GOT to write about Palin in black at the debate. Forget drilling or nuclear power, whatever she has going there would power the country if we could harness it.