The Politics of Fashion
It’s a sad sexist reality, but optics and clothes matter more than anyone wants to admit. It’s a lesson the TV-conscious Trump and his tummy-tuckers have mastered, and one Elizabeth Warren stands to benefit from the most if she surrenders her shapeless folksy rose upholstery for a sleek, Presidential style.
Possible looks for Warren:
By Katherine Monk
Men look Presidential from the moment they pop out of the womb. Women, on the other hand, have yet to establish themselves in the popular imagination as what Americans think of as “Presidential” — because women have yet to occupy the Oval Office.
Hillary proved the power of a pant suit, but it wasn’t enough to conquer the timeless power of a too-long tie and a tall man in a bespoke, single-needle tailored piece of haberdashery. Trump understands TV optics. He spends more time in hair and makeup than on homework, and more time constructing photo ops than world order. He knows how much value the American public puts on looks.
Warren has everything in her toolbox to win the Presidency because she’s smart and she’s got a plan for everything. But we don’t think she has a path to power because people don’t want to listen to the details, especially if the image has already turned them off. Consult the ever-heckling Internet about these things, and it’s clear Warren’s got a wardrobe problem.
It starts at the bare necks and dusty rose colour palette, and it continues all the way through her tailored upholstery textured fabrics and unflattering cuts. “School librarian,” says one anonymous poster on Datalounge. “I wonder how many voting Americans realize that Elizabeth Warren has rarely been seen in a different clothing outfit. Every time you see her she has the same black dress with a different color sweater on. Doesn’t she have any other clothes? if she becomes president is the way she dresses an example of the way she will greet foreign dignitaries or when there are large state dinners?” says another on App.
I wonder how many voting Americans realize that Elizabeth Warren has rarely been seen in a different clothing outfit. Every time you see her she has the same black dress with a different color sweater on. Doesn’t she have any other clothes? – Anonymous comment on Datalounge
Exactly. If you want to be President, you have to dress like one. Perfect Pete Buttigieg wears a tie. He also ensured his publicity photo makes him look more like a grown-up, complete with five o’clock shadow. Bernie Sanders? The man is so ready to be President he’s been sleeping in a suit since he was elected to the Senate.
Clobber house Amy Klobuchar has been learning at every turn, making sure the rogue bang has been cemented in place, picking Presidential Primary Blue, and standing her ground.
When Warren came to her defense on the score of forgetting the President of Mexico’s name, she proved she’s not only a true feminist, she’s a true team player who is capable of empathy. She’s got all the right ideas. She’d make a good President, but people don’t think she can win because she doesn’t look the part.
First, the eyeglasses are weak. They don’t accentuate her pretty eyes or her gorgeous intellect. She’s a brainiac Harvard law professor, Senator and policy wonk par excellence. Eyeglasses are a shortcut to smartness, so she should make them a statement of her gravitas — not her granny-ness. Some thicker dark rims care of Warby Parker would give her hipster points.
I’ve tailored her into a Hugo Boss Jomalara (main collage above), with an irregular chessboard jacquard pattern in blue. It’s a poly-cotton blend with elastane to make sure it stays crisp on the campaign trail, while offering comfort on those long bus rides.
The smarter she goes, the less she talks down to the people with her fifth-grade teacher cadence, and the more she owns her looks, her intelligence, and her capacity to be President, the better chance she has.
Nothing says power like a Boss suit … but other brands that may suit the law professor with political acumen would be Theory (she’s got plenty of them, after all), or the classic Anne Klein two-tone pantsuit (because it’s all about trying to build American bi-partisanship.) Warren has the kind of body that looks good in clean lines, and it’s a message on-brand with her linear, fact-based brain. The smarter she goes, the less she talks down to the people with her fifth-grade teacher cadence, and the more she owns her looks, her intelligence, and her capacity to be President, the better chance she has.
Or, she could short-cut the whole slog, and do what Donald Trump did: Dress the part and fake the rest.
THE EX-PRESS, February 18, 2020