Arizona Governor Jan Brewer went to the White House last week to meet with the President about immigration. She wore a black pant suit:
The black pant suit is a black pant suit: serviceable, well-fitted and unremarkable. But what I noticed most is what the governor chose to pair her suit with: a print top, open toed shoes, dangling earrings and a French twist in her hair. Each of these elements individually might be ok for an important meeting at the White House. But together, they look like the "after" picture in a magazine article on how to take your business suit from day to night. She looks like she's going on a date, not defending her state's immigration enforcement law.
From another angle, we can see her hairstyle is basically a beehive:
This is where a lot of us get confused. We know that "dressy" is the opposite of "casual" but we need to remember that it's also the opposite of "professional." Open toed shoes are dressy. There's nothing professional about seeing your toes. Wearing your hair up can be great in a professional setting, as a bun or a French braid. But anything that could reasonably be described as an "updo" is not right for a discussion with the President about legislation.