Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Political Fashion

It's tough to be a woman in politics. Can can tell you first hand there's still a gender gap. There are far more men in this industry than women. Now, I'm not accusing anyone of sexism or anything like that. No. I know a lot of ladies don't really care for politics. A lot of ladies are moms and stay at home with their kids, or are working mom's who need a little more flexibility in their schedule (something this industry doesn't really allow). But I also know that those numbers should not yield the numerical discrepancy between men and women in politics. So, it's hard to get the job. Then, once you do, it's hard to know what to wear. Why is it that we are SO critical of what female politicians wear? They have to be pretty, but not overly so. Made up and put together, but conservatively. God forbid a girl wears a pattern. Colors are okay, but you're safer sticking to primary colors (especially ones that appear in the flag). 

I don't think it's fair. I love leopard shoes. I love sparkles and glitter. I love pearls, but I don't want to wear them  every day. Since we saw the lovely Ann Romney last night looking lovely and put together, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite political ladies, and their fabulous outfits.

Sarah Palin   

gasp. I know. Sarah Palin made one of my favorite lists. While I am not a fan of her, her politics, or her tactics, I am a fan of her fashion choices. This picture is from the 2008 GOP Convention. I thought she looked great. A beautifully tailored cream jacket, black pencil skirt, sensible heels, and that awesome Sarah Palin hairdo I have stolen oh so many times. I might have added a watch... but girlfriend looked great. It was a great outfit to introduce her to the American public. Well done Sarah. well done. (the outfit only, everything else, notsomuch)

Nikki Haley
Now for those of you not so interested in politics, you probably don't know this lovely lady on the left. Nikki Haley is the first female governor of South Carolina. She's a Republican. and she's of Indian descent. Again, not really a fan of her politics, but I think she's gorgeous, well spoken, well educated and articulate. She looks fab here in a royal blue power skirt suit. I still haven't taken the plunge into colored suiting, but she rocks it.  

Kirsten Gillibrand
Okay. This one is unfair. She was featured in Vogue, hence the fabulous styling. However, I've met this Junior Democratic Senator from New York a few times, and she is fierce. Let me tell you. She's in her forties. Has two young boys (and a cute husband, but that's another story). She's a political force to be reckoned with. It would not shock me one bit if she makes a run for the White House in future years. In the mean time. She makes the Senate a more attractive bunch, everyday. 

*Side note. I was once mistaken for her in an elevator in the Capitol when I was a lowly intern. It remains to be one of the highlights of my life, even though she had just had a baby and was considerably bigger, she was still gorgeous. 

Hillary Clinton

Talk about polarizing. People love to talk about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's fashion sense. I get it. She had some serious faux pas when she was first lady. The headbands. Oh the headbands. But since leaving the White House, I think she's come into her own. I don't know if it's her, her stylist, whoever. She looks great now. I'm loving her longer hair, her fabulous collection of broaches, and ability to work a power suit in any color.  She debuted this orange look at the DNC convention in 2008. While it was not my favorite (orange on orange on orange?), I thought she glowed. I still remember that speech. I sobbed the whole way through. I was always on the Obama train in that election. He won my vote with his yes we can speech in New Hampshire, but she won my eternal admiration and gratitude that night in Denver four years ago. I hope she doesn't stray too far when she retires from her post as Secretary of State at the end of the year. 

Michelle Obama

While she herself isn't a politician, you can't talk political fashion and not give her an honorable mention. I adore the first lady. Her style, her poise, her politics, her realness. I just love her. I truely look to her as a fashion icon. She unapologetically rocks flats (thank you Michelle!). She embraces color and pattern like their is no tomorrow. Screw the suit jacket. She's a cardigan girl all the way. She loves skirts (so do I), but isn't afraid to wear pants (not gonna lie, I kind of am... to work I mean). This gorgeous look is from her speech at the 2008 DNC Convention. We were still just getting to know her then, but I knew any woman who could rock this curve hugging colorful dress was a woman destined for great things. Can't wait to see what she does next week!

So what do y'all think? Do you have a political or even just a professional female style icon? How do you balance your office style? 


ArtsySisters said...

We completely agree with your choices - all of them! We love strong, powerful women with sass, class, style. I mean, who doesn't? Great post, Emily!

Fash Boulevard said...

Adore this post, love. I've got a new outfit post inspired by one of my favorite TV characters. I'd love to hear your thoughts. xo

My-cliffnotes said...

Love this! Michelle's dress if fab!

Krista @ Blonde Aesthetic said...

I think the one that's the most exceptional is Haley, actually because I think it's the hardest to pull off. And HRC, but I don't love the orange and I think the sleeves are just a touch long. It is TOUGH to pull of colored suits (especially skirts) without looking too "ladies who lunch" and 90 years old, but they make it look natural and easy.

As someone who has tried many a version of this on but always panics in the dressing room thinking "this ages me about 50 years" I think hers is exceptional - the cobalt also looks gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous on her. The other ladies look great too, I just think she gets an extra point from me because it's a lot easier to make the others work so she gets an A for effort!

The Made Up Maiden said...

I really love Michelle Obama's fashion style, she's always so well put together, in a feminine and elegant manner.

I don't really need to balance my office style much as I work in a casual office environment, but I do like wearing a suit from time to time with a bright blouse for a pop of colour and some cute accessories. :)

Oh, and makeup, of course. ;)

Cara said...

This is a really cool post and has introduced me to one lady I didn't even know (Hillenbrand) with a killer style! I love Michelle Obama's ability to wear both high and low(er) end pieces, I think it suggests a lot about her and her ideology politically.

I also thought Ann Romney looked fantastic last night!

Britta Marie said...

this is a great post, girl!! i definitely LOVE michelle obama's style and how she wears her clothes. she is such a great example for women and young girls .. i just think she's great :)

xo Britta

Chantal said...

Nice outfits!!

Thanks for participating in the Wednesday Walkabout!

Chantal @ Scattered Seashells

Rachel @ lala Lists said...

Thanks for linking up with us for Wonderful Wednesdays!


Joanna Haughton said...

Emily, I just love this post! Thanks for stopping by ModaMama, and for leaving a comment. And frankly, I'm so happy that when I arrived here I saw that you were a Democrat!!

Newest follower now, and hope to see you around ModaMama again.


smk053078 said...

You make me smile. I love how involved and current you are in politics...I need to take notes from you. And I's not fair that the lady politicians can't pattern mix, color block or wear leopard stilettos!!

Jamie said...

LOVING Mrs Obama's outfit choices. Always perfection. Thanks for joining our link up today!

Jane said...

It is hard striking the balance between looking like a stylish woman, and being professional especially in a male dominated profession. These are all great pics though of a great way to look like a politician but not let anyone forget you're a lady. Thanks for linking up with the Walkabout!

Beth Rowland said...

I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head with women's political fashion. People would always look at me weird when I wore nude fishnets under my dress to a political function. God forbid I wear my betsey j lepoard print shoes.
You can be fashion forward and be taken seriously in politics. I mean seriously how many times can you wear a pants suit before it gets boring?

Not gonna lie I love that Mrs. O wears fashions you can easily find at Target or JCrew.

Sara said...

How is it possible I am not yet following your blog? I clearly changed that! I am in love with this blog and this post! I am so bummed I have been missing all of your posts on my google reader!

Laura said...

michelle obama is legit one of my style icons, feminine and classy!

Anonymous said...

I love your choices! I'm not a fan of Palin either but she does always look pretty put together & makes some of the better fashion choices. No one beats Michelle though!

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