Politicians’ style matters

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    With all the buzz swarming around the upcoming presidential election, voters everywhere are looking at all the aspects of the candidates. Everything from world views to the candidates’ running mates and even the clothes they are wearing is being judged by the American public. But, why is what they’re wearing so straight out boring?

    This is the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about the styles that have been worn in the past few weeks’ debates. Now, I know what the candidates said is far more important than what they wore, but I couldn’t help but judge both nominees on their suits. Stylists exist for a reason, and McCain really needs to fire his – if he has one at all. McCain’s outfit Friday night was precisely what men should not wear.

    A navy suit is acceptable, but one at least two sizes too big for him is not. Every time McCain used his hands to speak, I was distracted by the rivers of fabric hanging from his arms. The jacket was way too big, and you could see that every time he moved, which was very distracting.

    “They should be funkier. Get some suits with color in them. And why don’t the politicians ever wear a pocket square? That’s a big trend right now. It’s like they’re ignoring every possible trend,” Zaneta Tung, a Calgary-based fashion stylist with Mode Models, told Calgary Herald.

    But, with heavy issues such as the environment and the economy to worry about, do Americans really care about politicians’ style?

    The answer is yes. To the extent clothing eclipses what anyone – women or men, but usually women – has to say, then, yes. And yes, we are a largely frivolous culture who take delight in anything silly – especially if it’s a more “fun” alternative to boring old things like policies, budgets and wars. However, such interest in outward appearance is not only natural but probably, to a large extent, healthy.

    People are in fact interested in the clothing politicians wear. But, the main fact is there are very little variations on the masculine political uniform, and to take a risk for most is simply not an option. As a result, McCain and Obama’s suits rarely change in style and have no creative touch.

    Political women have more of an option when dressing. By changing clothes, it allows women to change their image more often. Yeah, many times it’s going to be scrutinized, but so is everything they do – this is actually one area that can be controlled and as such, gives a measure of power men do not have.

    With this power to choose what is worn, the “boring” factor of politics has the potential to be eliminated and instead be a huge wow factor with the American public that can potentially alter one’s political mindset.

    Jackie Burlison is a junior fashion merchandising major from Colleyville.