Can Women in Power Still Be Stylish?
The New York Times | VANESSA FRIEDMAN
Of all the candidates running in next Tuesday’s American midterm elections, only one, it seems to me, really has Halloween potential — which is to say, only one has succeeded in identifying herself closely enough with a specific sartorial semiology that a Pavlovian association is created in a viewer’s mind. See the garment, think the person.
I am speaking, of course, of Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator and beleaguered gubernatorial candidate, as well as famed Mizuno sneaker wearer. A blond wig, a bright suit and those sneakers doth a costume create. Who needs masks when you have fashion? Clothes have the power to define a person and a position, and though they are often seen as handicapping women in positions of authority, acting as a distraction from their achievements and substance, they can also be a strategic communication tool. One that is, ironically, more accessible to women than to men, who are stuck in a never-ending generic suit loop, forced to rely on the distinguishing characteristics of hair and tie color. Continue Reading…