Friday, January 27, 2012

The image of fur

Senator Boxer was on MSNBC this week discussing America's dissatisfaction with Washington. She wore a gray jacket with a fur collar:

It's not completely clear to me if this is real or faux fur (my guess is faux just from the texture) but the effect is the same either way in this case. As one communications expert said to me: "It just looks like she's wearing a fur coat--not exactly the right visual for a party trying to talk about how Washington works only for the wealthy."

Fur trim is a tough look to pull off in the daytime, no matter what message you're trying to convey. But this is a particularly unfortunate juxtaposition. You don't have to be trying to make a political statement with what you wear to make one when you get dressed. In this instance, the statement doesn't even have anything to do with the politics of wearing fur itself and whether that's ethical. It goes more to the iconography of fur. It's what the fur implies about the wearer. Namely, wealth and privilege.

This is not a new issue for Washington, so there's no excuse not to make a conscious decision when choosing those garments.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giffords resigns in style

Gabrielle Giffords released a video announcement of her resignation from Congress this week. She chose the classic power color: red.

This video also shows a montage of images of Rep. Giffords from before and after the shooting. If you ever wanted to see an example of how the colors you wear should change when you change your hair color, this is a very good one. From whites and pastels as a blond, to reds and saturated colors as a brunette, clearly she's had some good advice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Will Bachmann turn back the clock?

We've been following Michele Bachmann's Presidential campaign wardrobe since the very beginning. Hasn't it been interesting? And now here at the end, it seems to have come full circle.

On the night of the Iowa caucus, when she was still a candidate, she wore navy blue:

Dark color, almost no jewelry, small flag pin. Her outfit is simple, conservative, and, except for the jacket neckline, devoid of detail. It's everything we've come to expect from her on the campaign trail.

But when she announced the next day that she was leaving the race, her look had already begun to change:

She's still in a dark color palette, but her jacket has a pattern and beaded trim. She's wearing larger earrings.  Her eye makeup is considerably bolder, and I'm pretty sure those are false lashes. She hasn't gone all the way back to the pink twinset, but this is definitely a return to more overt femininity.

We'll continue to watch as Bachmann returns to Congress no longer a presidential candidate but with an elevated national profile. I'm not sure if we'll ever get back to her "date night with Fox" look, but I do expect we'll start to see more color soon. This Congresswoman Bachmann will look both familiar and new.

See also the Reliable Source in the Post today and the slideshow that goes with it!