Palin Dressed for Success as “Slasher Celebrity Shopper”*

22 10 2008

*source of Slasher Celebrity Shopper –  David Corn of Mother Jones’ Washington Bureau just coined this term on MSNBC for all Sarah Palin has shown the public since her nomination. Slashing away at Obama with personal attacks, celebrity stints at the UN and SNL, and of course today the $150,000 elitism SHOPPING spree news . . .

I was an up-and-coming (very) young and (somewhat) hot female public policy professional in the 1980s. Seems like a lifetime ago, and I guess it nearly was.

After a haphazard jeans or shorts-and-fencing-socks type grad student wardrobe, including waist-length hippie hair held over from the 60s, I got a great opportunity and made myself over to make the most of it, and read — no, actually I STUDIED if not completely memorized — John Malloy’s pop research bible for my demographic, “Dress for Success.” Then I shopped very seriously by it, with what little money I had. And paid the dry-cleaning bills for the first time in my life, which was almost enough to strain my budget all by itself, never mind the original purchase price of the clothes. 🙂

But even in those days of greed and excess including fake nails at $100 a month (yes, I had them for a couple of years) it wasn’t about the bucks you spent but the bang you got for them careerwise. How well they communicated the power of story you were spending them to present.

Certainly it wasn’t about what you personally craved or felt good in or thought was attractive, and it definitely wasn’t about what men would find attractive either. The opposite in fact! The object was to integrate a competent, smart and effective, non-sexual kind of natural low-key quality and value into your overall appearance. So, not pants but an appropriately feminine version of the neutral office suit. The details were key, such as the soft bow on your blouse to emulate the male tie but without copying it and looking saucy or downright challenging to the boss. I remember especially the importance of the sensible, blue or black low-heeled shoes and the attache-like purse and oh, traveling with the all-purpose black or beige trenchcoat. It didn’t have to be a brand name London Fog — it could come from Ross Dress for Less or the thrift shop — but its exact style reflecting the man-coat was important, down to the precise length and how many buttons it had, and that it not be any girl-color.

The whole point was to wear clothes that wouldn’t be an issue! — remove them from any notice so that subconsciously it would seem like they meant no more to you than any of the other guys.
Much like a school dress code.

Anyway, that was then. I’ve laughed since about Hillary’s pantsuits and generally admired how freely colorful most women are now, in the Senate and House for example, less straitjacketed by mavens like Malloy. As long as your clothes fit your power of story, rather than spoil it.

Sarah Palin and her handlers screwed up BIGTIME here imo.

Piper Palin with Louis Vuitton bag

Piper Palin with Louis Vuitton bag

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27 responses

22 10 2008
22 10 2008
JJ

Bet they wish now they’d spent the money on ACTUAL tutoring!!! Then her ideas and answers might have been attractive instead of repellent. But no, they just put the education bucks all into a voice coach to refine her dulcet tones into a get out the vote magnet to attract (mostly white male reprobates like Joe the Plumber?) voters . . .

From the Robert Draper piece:

[A]n elegant … woman sat alone at the far end of the bar. She wore beige slacks and a red sweater, and she picked at a salad while talking incessantly on her cellphone. But for the McCain/Palin button affixed to her collar and the brief moment that Palin’s new chief of staff, Tucker Eskew, spoke into her ear, she seemed acutely disconnected from the jubilation swelling around her. In fact, the woman was here for a reason. Her name was Priscilla Shanks, a New York-based stage and screen actress … who had found a lucrative second career as a voice coach.

Shanks’s work with Sarah Palin was as evident as it was unseen. Gone, by the evening of her convention speech, was the squeaky register of Palin’s exclamations. Gone (at least for the moment) was the Bushian pronunciation of “nuclear” as “nook-you-ler.” Present for the first time was a leisurely, even playful cadence that signaled Sarah Palin’s inevitability on this grand stage.

Shanks’ name does appear in McCain’s campaign finance report.
It’s reported as: “Operating Expenditures / GOTV CONSULTING.”

As in “Get Out the Vote.”

22 10 2008
23 10 2008
JJ

Republican David Frum (new book”Comeback”) is on Colbert tonight.

He’s written off this election and he’s thinking about what it would take for the R brand to get more flexible and write a better future. He says if his party chooses to be the party of Palin, writing off the youth vote, the cities, the middle class, to be nothing but a “rural white RUMP” — then it’s pretty much over. Not the election. The Party.

23 10 2008
Deanne

I read about this earlier today, as well as an article about Palin bringing her kids with her to professional events. I almost had some respect for her, for trying to stay connected with her kids and for showing them first-hand about the work of a woman in politics. But , there is no reason the taxpayers should be reimbursing her to do this! Now add in the shopping sprees funded by the Republicans, and I just can’t stomach any of the high-horse, self-righteous CRAP she spews, especially the “pro-American” nonsense. She is turning out to be the unscrupulous, self-serving, ruthlessly ambitious person I first suspected she was.

23 10 2008
Nance Confer

Until the Rs start thinking about what they stand for and figuring out whether that is actually anything anyone wants or needs, and stop thinking about selling a brand, they won’t get far.

Thank goodness I don’t see them smartening up anytime soon! 🙂

Obama demonstrating how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9OhVMHIuO4

Nance

23 10 2008
JJ

Deanne and all, Jane Mayer has a brand-new story in The New Yorker about how Gov. Palin hired a publicist-marketer (at taxpayer expense) to pitch her story to the (anti-American?) liberal East Coast media, and plotted and schemed to get this VP gig before McCain ever thought of it himself. Much as she rails against big cities and especially Washington DC, it looks like she couldn’t wait another minute to break out of rural Alaska and be the celebrity politician they deride Obama as being.

Upon being elected governor, Palin began developing relationships with Washington insiders, who later championed the idea of putting her on the 2008 ticket. “There’s some political opportunism on her part,” Bitney said. For years, “she’s had D.C. in mind.” He added, “She’s not interested in being on the junior-varsity team.”

So it was all just another fairy tale, her Cinderella story about sitting by the small-town hearth keeping a dutiful eye on Putin until — surprise! — Prince Maverick scooped her up and swept her to the ball (in a $150,000 gown?) Mayer lays out her story more as political biography in comic book form, maybe Cinderella goes Spiderwoman . . .

23 10 2008
JJ

Oh, and it turns out Sarah Palin was the politician backing school as government authority trumping student constitutional rights to free expression, in the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case! Small, not so mavericky, world — we blogged that here when it happened, remember? And unlike Palin, we were on the side of intellectual freedom, diversity, individual kids and families having their own differences yet still being Americans and good citizens, not on the school-and-ruler side of Big God and Heavy-Handed Government controls. 😉

School Rule, From Bong Hits 4 Jesus to the New Harry Potter Movie

23 10 2008
JJ

Answer for America from Sarah Palin, when asked how she would end elitism in a tv interview airing tonight:
“Opportunity and hope provided everyone, equally!”

Gosh, I’m sure she didn’t mean anything, you know, SOCIALISTIC.

23 10 2008
Deanne

“…sitting by the small-town hearth keeping a dutiful eye on Putin until — surprise! — Prince Maverick scooped her up and swept her to the ball (in a $150,000 gown?)”

I’m so glad to have your wit and humor to help me get through this election! 😉

23 10 2008
Deanne

“Gosh, I’m sure she didn’t mean anything, you know, SOCIALISTIC.”

I also appreciate your wit and wisdom very much JJ!

23 10 2008
JJ

🙂 🙂

23 10 2008
Crimson Wife

So how much have the Clintons spent on Hillary’s wardrobe and grooming over all the years she’s spent in the national spotlight? I’d be willing to bet that it’s at LEAST $150k. And Sen. Obama apparently has been wearing $1500 suits and $500 shoes- how much has HE spent total on HIS wardrobe during his time in the national spotlight?

Yes, Gov. Palin has spent a lot over a relatively short period of time. But she was suddenly thrust onto the national scene only in August and she likely did not have the kind of wardrobe on hand appropriate for her new position. The elite media has been horrendously snobbish towards her as it is- can you imagine how much worse it would’ve been had she shown up wearing some cheapie polyester suit from J.C. Penney?

23 10 2008
JJ

Seriously? CW, did you read my whole post about choosing the clothes not for labels or status or price but very carefully for one’s career story, in my case for a certain kind of understated sensible and trustworthy style, and in her case for a quirky muckluck, hockey mom sell-the-jet, fire-the-chef style?

In any case, it wouldn’t be some forced choice between homeless, trailer trash, hooker and Paris Hilton. Sarah Palin could’ve looked great and appropriate in something like the $148 black-and-white dress Michelle Obama wore on the View. WOuld’ve worked much better this week with McCain’s Joe the Plumber tour. if nothing else! (You couldn’t put all this in a movie, people would call it unbelievable.)

When John Edwards got a $400 haircut as a candidate for president I’ll bet you sneered along with the media and America, even though he’s a multi-millionaire (like the McCains and Clintons and just about everybody in national politics) and certainly could afford it if he thought he needed it. But btw, Governor Palin DIDN’T spend it, nor is she in the habit of funding her own personal expenses for herself and her family, apparently. She thinks she’s entitled to it as a politician, and that she’s worth it to the little people. In this case it was a big pile of RNC political money, at a time when the economy is the current crisis and pampered excess is openly despised and resented, as costing all of us almost a trillion dollars we can’t afford and don’t get any benefit from.

p.s. The capper for me was a thou or two for the new BABY’s duds! That’s some onesie!

23 10 2008
JJ

Speaking of Senator Obama, did you miss the shot of him yesterday with his feet up on the desk and a hole in the middle of each sole showing?

23 10 2008
Crimson Wife

My DH has an old pair of dress shoes that need to go to the cobbler’s for resoling too. He could drag them out for a convenient photo op but they’re not what he normally wears. And they still cost several hundred dollars when they were new (which is why we’re going to have them fixed one of these days).

The issue with Edwards’ $400 haircut and 28,000 sq ft mansion was the fact that his whole campaign was based on class warfare. He was out there attacking the “rich” when he was uberwealthy himself.

I read somewhere that Sarah Palin’s salary as governor of Alaska is only something like $112k. I don’t know what her husband makes as a part-time oil rigger & fisherman, but it can’t be that much. Together I’m sure it’s not enough to afford purchasing the kind of wardrobe that’s expected of a woman in her current position as potential VP.

And as for Michelle Obama, she’s apparently a long-time client of designer Maria Pinto. Those pieces tend to run quite a bit more than $148 according to Chicago Magazine:

“On the casual side, find a bouclé crop jacket ($1,430), wide-leg trousers ($540), and a tailored V-neck dress with pockets ($1,110). For evening, expect to see classics that integrate surprise details, such as a demure black dress with an open back covered in intricate lace ($2,100) and a tank dress with leather edging ($1,455). Her wraps—a signature—also stand out. A simple black pleated scarf ($780) pairs well with trousers and gowns. ‘My client is a free-spirited person who has a sense of her own style and doesn’t need to be dictated to,’ says Pinto. ‘They tell me that when they wear my clothes, they feel different. They feel confident.’

23 10 2008
JJ

CW said: “The issue with Edwards’ $400 haircut and 28,000 sq ft mansion was the fact that his whole campaign was based on class warfare. He was out there attacking the “rich” when he was uberwealthy himself.”

Right – and Palin’s been out there pandering to the hard working hockey moms and debtor single dads, when she isn’t really earning her own way or living like they do.

24 10 2008
JJ

LOL, $22,800 for two weeks of make up??
new news about Palin and her very elite and pricey public face — That’s more than the foreign policy expert they have on staff. It seems safe to say that Barack Obama’s make-up artist is likely not the highest paid single individual on his campaign staff! Sheesh, could any political organization be this much of an all-round disaster without doing it on purpose??

25 10 2008
JJ

So, here we have a Vice Presidential candidate and potential President who has close ties to a separatist party founded by a man with violent hostility toward the U.S. government. She accepts blessing from a “witch-fighting” pastor, when “expelling witches” is its own form of terrorism (witch-hunting may sound quaint to American ears, but it’s a living and hideous practice that claims hundreds if not thousands of women and children each year).

Let’s face it: The $150,000 in clothing, the highly paid make-up artists, the potentially illegal use of Alaskan state funds to fly her family on junkets … all that’s trivial next to the extreme views suggested by these comments.

This is not a game of “gotcha” based on a poor choice of words or associations. This is a pattern — the pattern of a deeply disturbing individual, one who is not only unqualified to be President but who also holds some profoundly un-American opinions.

It’s no wonder the young woman who claimed to have been attacked and mutilated by a large black Obama supporter turns out to have performed the act on herself (which the mirrored “B” on her face should have made obvious). But before the truth was revealed, we’re told she got a phone call from Sarah Palin. This is a campaign that will try turning any lie to its advantage.

Self-mugging: The perfect metaphor for John McCain’s campaign.

Sure, there’s a strange fascination in listening to Sarah Palin speak. Every sentence seems to pass through an surrealistic archway, as if its grammatical rules had been designed by M. C. Escher. Will it turn into a flock of birds, a school of fish, become its own wall or ceiling or stairway? But underneath this tangled skein of language, a picture is beginning to emerge. It’s a frightening picture and an ugly one.

It’s a picture that the most expensive makeup artist in the world can’t hide.

25 10 2008
25 10 2008
JJ

This is great, thanks Chris!

After news broke yesterday about Governor Palin’s rather large clothing expenditures, a friend sent me an email, challenging me to build a complete, Vice Presidential candidate worthy, wardrobe for Governor Palin for less than $2,500. Now $2500 is more than I spend on clothing all year, but she IS a VP candidate, not a budget shopper like myself.

The rules:
– enough suit/dress options to last at least two weeks on the campaign trail
– must include shoes that were of quality and comfortable
– the items had to come from stores that a Hockey/Football/Basketball/Baseball Mom would shop (so no Saks, Neiman, Barneys, unless it’s their outlet stores)
– the clothing had to fit Governor Palin’s personal style (the Governor loves her some red)
– Everything had to be quality and could be worn on television (which meant patterns, stores like Payhalf and F21, were pretty much out of the picture)

Did I win the challenge? You decide….

25 10 2008
JJ

(Language sensitivity warning) – help Sarah Palin name the TV show she’ll no doubt be offered in a couple of weeks. “Pallin’ Around With Palin” or “You Betcha!” will probably win, but you can vote for “Unplanned Parenthood” or maybe “Good Morning Alaska” if that catches your fancy . . .
Feel free to post your as-yet-unlisted suggestions here too.

26 10 2008
JJ

Oh, too bad. Politico reports that Alaska law won’t allow her to take that tv gig — although, hmmm, when has she let pesky details like laws, ethics (facts?) or the Constitution get in her way . . .maybe we should go ahead and vote a good name anyway.

“I could see her getting more traction as an Oprah than as an Anderson Cooper,” offered agent Eric Wattenberg at New York’s N.S. Bienstock, a talent firm that handles top network and cable stars including Diane Sawyer, Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews.

Oh yeah. Me too.

26 10 2008
Betty Malone

JJ, You nailed for me..what disturbs me when I attempt to listen to Sarah Palin..it’s uncomfortable..the way she rambles…the way one subject flows into another without any form of verbal puncuation..the way her logic seems to flow…unlogically!…from one thought into another completely non related. I’m fascinated but repulsed and disturbed. I always have to switch away from her and am so glad when she stops talking…

Now, note above, the same rambling format. Perhaps I’m seeing shadow in Sarah Palin, because I obviously write the same way she talks. LOL

26 10 2008
JJ

I agree, Betty. Good writing comes from good thinking. Same with clear speaking. It doesn’t have to be as formal and thrilling as British discourse but it sure doesn’t have to be as mangled and buzz-word costumed as this (hers, not yours — yours has content!) either.

1 02 2009
Is R-E-S-P-E-C-T in Dress or Success? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] And let’s not even get started on the recent object lesson of conservatives like oh, Sarah Palin for instance, putting undue emphasis on and investment into wardrobe, instead of knowledge and ideas! […]

22 05 2009
Palin Parenting Pregnancy Pomp (and Circumstance) « Cocking A Snook!

[…] also Dress for Success Power of Story and There’s only one moment in Bristol’s People interview that actually sounds […]

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