The Pantsuit Doesn’t Need To Be Vetted

2008 Democratic National Convention: Day 2

Alyssa hates the scrutiny Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe choices receive:

The expectations are contradictory and impossible: women like Clinton are simultaneously supposed to not care about their appearance while looking impeccable at all times, not to care a whit about fashion but to have a sense of what clothes make their bodies look simultaneously attractive and appropriate to whatever occasion they’re dressing for.

If they hire stylists to make these decisions for them, freeing up their attention for, say, policy, they’re elitists. If they pick out their clothes themselves, they’re frivolous. If they try to be fashionable, they’re trying too hard, or failing to dress their ages. If they settle on a uniform, they’re dowdy and unimaginative. Sometimes, it seems like the only option that would satisfy everyone’s demands about her wardrobe is for Hillary Rodham Clinton presented herself as a disembodied floating head. But even then, we’d be stuck with a national conversation that’s now in its third decade: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Hair, What Does It Mean?

(Photo: Wardrobe pieces are checked against stage lighting before the start of day two of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the Pepsi Center August 26, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. By Mark Wilson/Getty Images)