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Cynthia Nellis

Hillary Clinton's Style: Does It Matter?

By January 8, 2008

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hillary clintonShe's been criticized for baring a bit of cleavage and ridiculed for choosing safe, solid color pantsuits. Democratic hopeful John Edwards even poked fun at her bright jacket then apologized in a recent debate. Women's Wear Daily has an in-depth article that examines opinions on Hillary Clinton's fashion choices, and whether or not we should even be concerned about how our women political leaders dress.

Of course, this topic is nothing new. But I was surprised by how varied the opinions were (snottiest of all was the WWD.com quote from Isaac Mizrahi: "I know that if I don't like someone's appearance I won't consider getting to know them on any level, let alone vote for them for office.") (Photo Credit: Joe Readle/Getty Images)

But the only opinions I really value are yours. So sound off:

Poll:Does Hillary Clinton's style impact how you feel about her as a political leader?


January 11, 2008 at 10:23 am
(1) Christina says:

We are all visual people and I’m not going to lie that in the society we live in the way you look does factor into how people treat you and view you but if you have the character and brains and Hillary does she could be wearing a paperbag and it wouldn’t matter. All I can think about is Will Smith in Pursuit of Happyness. He had nothing in terms of I’m sure upbringing and eductaion, and wore the same suit everyday and for that people looked down on him. He did have determination, character and smarts and because of that he succeeded NOT because of the way he looked. Never judge a book by its cover. Cause that person could surprise and in Wills case take your job.

January 14, 2008 at 8:35 am
(2) JE says:

Her clothes tell me she is trying too hard to manipulate a “trust me” attitude towards her. For me, it doesn’t work. She hides any of her own style, and I wonder how much she hides any of her own ideas and opinions to try to achieve this “trust me” effect.

January 14, 2008 at 10:31 am
(3) ESD says:

Response to JE: Women in business or politics do have to try harder because women cannot rely on the regulation uniform of the business suit in the way that men can. Can you think of a man who isn’t automatically considered more trustworthy and upstanding when wearing a suit rather than casual clothes? This is why male defendants are usually advised to wear a suit in court, or at least a button-down shirt and decent pants. You are bringing your own prejudices about women to your comments about Hillary.

As for Isaac Mizrahi, I wonder how he’d have felt if people judged him in the same way that he judges others back when he was about 50 or so pounds heavier and had longer hair that he tied up using a bandana as a headband. He certainly wasn’t the slick man in a suit that he is today. Shame on him for being so superficial.

Finally, I’d vote for Hillary if she wore a Grateful Dead tee shirt and cutoffs. And I find it appalling that people, both men and women, are judging her based on whether she’s too cold (a bitch) or if she displays emotion (a weakling who can’t be trusted to be Commander in Chief). This is the very definition of putting someone in a double bind.

January 14, 2008 at 10:58 am
(4) Amy says:

If you have ever met Hillary, and I have had chance to do so due to the fact that my husband is in politics, she is one of the most amazing and brilliant women I have ever met. Does she get up in the morning and worry about her clothing more than three minutes–doubtful–she’s trying to get elected to the highest office in the nation! As for Isaac Mizrahi’s comment, I wonder how he would feel if we avoided him by boycotting his apparel and shoe line based on his absurd comments. Get your priorities in order, Isaac.

January 26, 2008 at 9:41 am
(5) Suzie says:

I interview people for jobs. I have read there resume, checked into background, work experience, contact those that know how they work and fit into the present work force.
I get the first impression of their professinalism as they walk through the door by how the dress, carry their posture, how they speak of themselves and how they speak of their former or present employer and fellow employees.
I listen to what information they give to the questions I have asked.
Overly power dressing or the look of just got home from a party, forgot to clean up to see you, and not realizing it is great to look your best(example former priminister Margert Thacher). Never wrong to dress with good taste and style as you add your personality.
First impressions that last are made as you are seen, not what you said. Women in powerful positions such dress as women and not like men. It shows you are not confused about yourself, can make proper decisions, are in control of yourself there fore control the situation with your confidence and own abilities.
Hillary needs to dress as a woman, not showing as sexy and no as a woman in men’s suits. Get out of those pant suits, wear a just below the knee straight down from the hips skirt in softer material and hit of color that highlights her skin tone. Tweeds in dark colors are too much, those overly bright colors go to the other extreme. She needs a more gentle hair style and softer more natural makeup. Nice melow jewlery always highlight any outfit, but also pulls it together.
Next it is what comes out of her mouth, too loud and forceful, too nasty, and crying or acting as a child loosing at play and will say or do anything to win is a really huge turn off. Men can do it a pull it off, but as you are making in roads to be the first to obtain a postion from the man, don’t transform into a man’s persona. Don’t let an underling or spouse over take your control or steal from you your on power postion, confusing of who is really in control and the power person and looking weak.

January 27, 2008 at 12:33 am
(6) Linda says:

As for Hillary, I think she always looks nice, she is almost 60.
who cares if she is not a fashion plate. Maybe you all should spend your money on helping poor children and get your priorities in order. All the money you waste on high priced items could help animals, children in hospitals, saving the earth etc,looks don’t last anyway.Do you ever look inward?

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