Sunday, May 16, 2010

On the waterfront, but too casual

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has run into some trouble again with her clothing choices for a public appearance. She made remarks outdoors on the EPA strategy for the Chesapeake Bay watershed:

Ms. Jackson did make a good choice of color here. Chartreuse is not for everyone, but her coloring takes it well. DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is a fan of this color too.

The color is the best part of this jacket. This style of jacket is far too casual to begin with - flap pockets, shank buttons and cotton fabric are all hallmarks of a traditional denim jacket, which is one of the most casual garments you can wear out of the house. The contrast of the style with the suits and ties of men in the background robs her of the gravitas she should have in this situation.

The style of the jacket also demands to be worn unbuttoned, which makes her look much wider in the torso than she actually is. The wide ribbed texture of the shell she's wearing underneath amplifies that effect even further.

Here's what I would have chosen for her instead:
I suspect that part of the reason Ms. Jackson errs on the side of too casual sometimes is a desire for simplicity in dressing, so this outfit keeps to a minimal number of individual pieces. She also usually gravitates to feminine items. So a dress with a jacket is a great choice. The fly stick pin is a nice nod to the setting, too. A white jacket on television? Being outdoors means natural light, which won't cause the reflectivity problems that incandescent light indoors would.

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