Ann Romney went on CBS “This Morning” this week sporting a rather lovely and vibrant $990 T-shirt by chic designer Reed Krakoff, and folks lost their minds. Not since Seinfeld’s “puffy shirt” has there so much talk about a
top on television.
Perhaps I’m conflicted out from even discussing this, given my unadulterated love of fashion and the people with the guts to push some envelopes, strain some eyes and test conventions of what one should wear. What Romney wore looked great on her. It also projected a fun-loving and colorful (literally) spirit that eludes her husband. And she had the good sense not to wear the matching pants.
Clothes on the campaign trail say a lot about the person wearing them. And the message they communicate to voters can be as important as the actual words coming out the candidate’s or surrogate’s mouth, whether they like it or not. Meghan McCain believes Ann Romney made a mistake wearing that Krakoff T-shirt. “She needs to be a little more cognizant of the message she’s trying to put out, just given the economic recession that we’re in and everything that’s going on,” she said last night on “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.”
This is true, especially for the Romneys. From the $10,000 bet to “Ann has a couple of Cadillacs, actually,” the candidate is seen as being out of touch with anyone not in the 1 percent. As a result, folks are looking for any and every sign that Mitt and Ann aren’t like the rest of us. To Mrs. Romney, I offer this unsolicited advice: Take a page from another wealthy wife of a Republican presidential candidate, and Meghan’s mom, Cindy McCain.
During the 2008 campaign, McCain looked flawless. There was no doubt that the outfits she wore on stage with her husband cost more than my mortgage and maintenance fee combined. I don’t recall seeing the same outfit twice. And she wore them with a confidence that said, “I dare you to say something.” While the campaign narrative is different for Ann Romney, she could do the same. All she has to do is be a bit more careful in displaying her fashion sense.