Sarah Palin: Style Icon

Myrna Blyth's discussion on Sarah Palin's style.

Myrna Says

Sarah Palin Style

She knows what she likes!

-Myrna Blyth, Blyth times

Welcome to our first installment of Myrna Says, a new series by Myrna Blyth!

Sarah PalinSarah Palin has style, real personal style which means knowing what looks good on you, sticking to it, and, often, pushing it up a notch because you are so confident about your look. That’s different from fashion-magazine style which is, after all, an ever-changing marketing scheme. This season Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire are pushing six-inch heels, see-through lace and hounds-tooth jackets. Exactly WHO, beside the size 0 seventeen-year-old models in their pages, really could wear or look good in any of the above?

But Palin, unlike other women politicians, manages to look both attractive and appropriate all the time. It isn’t easy to do. Heavens knows, Hillary Clinton certainly tried and tried to get it right. But no matter how many fashion stylists she had advising her she always looked dowdy. Remember those blocky pants suits, jackets made out of upholstery fabric, and contrasting beads she wore on the campaign trail?

Nancy Pelosi, who favors Armani suits and marble-sized South Sea pearls, bought by her husband who is her personal shopper, tries hard, too. She wears rich-ladies’ fashions which create a pricey look but not a particularly flattering one for her. It often appears as if her $2,000 suits are wearing her.

So what makes up Sarah’s style? Well, as they say, in the fashion magazines here are some secrets of how the former Miss Wasilla gets it together:

Sarah Palin• She starts by wearing one very personal accessory all the time. With her it is those great Kazuo Kawasaki 704 rimless glasses. They cost more than $300 but they are worth it because she wears them all the time. And she has managed to turn what could be a liability, wearing glasses instead of contacts, into a fashion statement.

She proves that price really doesn’t matter when you have personal style. Sarah looks virtually the same whether she is dressed in a big-ticket Valentino jacket, which she wore at the Republican convention, or an off-the-rack $250 suit which she sometimes wears on the campaign trail. But she lately she certainly has been wearing more pricey clothes. It has been reported the Republican National Committee has been paying for her more expensive campaign attire, though it is hard to tell which is Saks Fifth Avenue and which is not.

She knows she looks good in curvy skirt suits and so she wears curvy skirt skirts, no matter what this season’s hot jacket or skirt style is supposed to be. And, yes, once in a while she does wear pants. Because she wants to not because she has to. (Let’s be honest and admit, Hillary has to wear pants. I know that’s kind of mean, but, hey, try watching Project Runway).

• She chooses somewhat tacky accessories with pride such as the dangly earrings in the shape of her home state. Fashionistas mock such down-market jewelry choices but Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw always wore a tacky necklace that spelled out her name and that was considered part of her great style. Not much different than an Alaska glitter pin.

• She wears open-toed pumps with a business suit. So she looks serious but feminine as well, a fashion combo most career women struggle to master. Part of real style also happens to be having fun, darn it, with fashion.

Sarah PalinSarah’s dress sense is so crystal clear that Palin look-alike contest contestants and Tina Fey know exactly what to wear when they are making fun of her. And even women who dislike her politics admit they admire her look. I have a friend who thinks Obama‘s the One and totally disagrees with the McCain-Palin ticket on everything, especially the war. Just the other day she told me how much she liked Palin’s belted military jacket and wondered where she could get one.

In truth, great style depends not on the clothes or accessories one buys but in knowing and liking oneself. The campaign has been very rough on Sarah Palin but no matter what happens, I know she will keep the ebullient self-confidence she has. That, after all, is the real key to great personal style.

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