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British Politicians And Their Distinct (Lack Of) Style

October 27, 2010

As I watched the chancellor of the exchequer explain the main points of the government’s long-awaited spending review on TV the other day, what struck me most was not the scale of the spending cuts, which I (and probably most people) had expected, but the state of some of the male politicians who booed and yaared around him.

Even though Britain practically invented the modern suit, and has some the world’s best tailors, its politicians seem to wear clothing that has been bought at an ASDA supermarket. By their mums.

Why do politicians dress so blandly? For one thing, they don’t like to be seen to waste public money. We only really see them when they are being interviewed or taking part in debates on TV. We see their shirts, their ties and their suit jackets. If any of these are flashy, then the media and the public will question how they were paid for (public money?). In terms of clothing, fiscal responsibility translates into a baggy dark-coloured suit, garish silk tie and nondescript white shirt. The result is Prime Minister’s Questions sessions that resemble a used car salesmen’s conference in an English Heritage property.

Another reason for blandness is because politicians are busy people, and busy people cannot waste their precious time on clothing. But is this really a valid excuse? How long does it take to find a few well-fitting suits and shirts, and a few nice ties? No more than a few Saturday afternoon shopping sessions, surely. And besides, most high-profile politicians have media managers and stylists who are paid to make sure they look the part. What on earth are they up to? Day-Glo ties in party colours are a good idea, then? Really?

via British Politicians And Their Distinct (Lack Of) Style.

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