Hillary - get a new wardrobe! Fast!
Dear Hillary, While you are shaking up your campaign, go one step farther and get rid of your wardrobe guru. The earth tones of Al Gore's day don't play well for you. Here are a few suggestions. 1) get rid of that near "baby poop" burnt yellow pantsuit, And burn or toss away any and all pantsuits that are any shade of "brown" with that greenish under shell. Brown is bad, bad, bad for you. So is that greenish shell. ***2) the turquoise ear rings and the matching necklace are GOOD, brings out your eyes and compliments your skin tones. So keep that set. 3) set the 15 mm pearls aside and go for a double strand of 7 mm pearls with soft pink imperial ear rings, again 7-8 mm. Strands of pearls should come down to just above you cleavage and should drape softly, just winking out, not overpowering. The ultimate power dressing is balanced by the feminine counter-themes. 4) go for navy blue suits and white shirts whose cuffs fall 1 inch below the jacket sleeves. You can use soft powder blue shirts/blouses with open collars and the pearls inside on your skin or tucked under the collar of the blouse. NO ruffles, please. And NO pastels. 5) additionally a soft tan (camel pale) suit with a burgundy blouse or navy blue silk blouse, same pearls, would be softening as well as matching skirts for all suits I'm suggesting. And two-inch heel good quality pumps with narrow heels - not your grandmother's thick heels. Gotta go for feminine in power suits. 6) I know the Mao jackets are comfortable but let's can them for a while - they are not flattering, rather boxy and that is not the power look that would be flattering. 7) go for basics: soft camel suit with soft ecru silk blouse or optional navy blouse or burgundy blouse. Good navy blue set, good soft grey suits with off-white or pale silk grey blouses. Remember, the two strands of pearls are your "tie" but with a softer look. Minimize the pantsuits. 8) One suit that really worked was the one with the black lace/pasely (sp) sort of pattern over the grayish background. Now that did work, and you wore it at an acceptance speech - I think for New Hampshire. Subtle is key. Those ecru linen or light wool suits with soft, gentle skirts. PLEASE get rid of your wardrobe guru and skim that old book, Dress for Success. Your wardrobe needs to soften up so that the power suits are off-set by the two strands of pearls that are small, 7 but no more than 7.5 to 8 mm. The size your average American woman can afford. Open-throated silk blouses, double strands of pearls peeking around, and good pumps, Keep the great turquoise jewelry set you wear with that soft lemon suit - that works - really is good but the "man-thing" look in brown and baby poop burnt yellow are anything but flattering. The kindest thing to say for them is that they are "off-putting." The greatest change you could make for your success is to move toward subtle suits. Skim "Dress for Success" and use what suits you but minimize the pantsuits and bring out the soft, subtle suits with soft flowing skirts, just below the knee. We gotta cover our knees. One under-rated and under-stated part of the female "power" attire deals with lingerie. Here it is all feminine, all the time with deep lace half-slips and deep lace camisoles that would allow just a hint of lace to show rarely, just as the lace on the half-slip would show ever so subtly upon occassion. The lingerie gives a woman all the "feminine" strength she needs when it is covered by the subtle power suits others expect. It is more of a psychological "advantage" than the "hit 'em on the head", "I am woman hear me roar" approach. "I am woman, all woman, who walks firmly and wears expensive lace under-garments." Our version of walk softly and carry a big stick. Here it is in a nutshell - wear the power suits, leave the power ties by the way-side, and emphasize the feminine side with the small pearls that middle-class ladies could and would wear, and the lace you'd be the only one to know about. Dressing as I suggest softens your "threat" and could soften the genuine dislike that many folks have for you because of your perceived stridency while at the same time giving you confidence. Dressing as you are now tells me you don't have anyone helping you in that department. But the make-up is good lately. And of course, leave the silk dresses at home. I'm a conservative, professional woman and although I strongly disagree with you from an ideological perspective, I can't stand to see you being harmed by your wardrobe. Whoever is selecting your clothes is not your friend. Just give these suggestions a try for a week or so. See what happens with a softer yet power-suited Hillary as the primary candidate. You can play the subtle charm, confident in softened power suits and you don't have to use "affectation" to pull it off. The beauty of the power dressing comes not from its boulding-over "man power" rules but rather from the softer, subtle power dressing of successful women. Right now, your pantsuits are playing to your insecurity - the dressing like a man thing. Power dressing for a woman is built on the foundation of subtle, non-threatening suits (with skirts and expensive pumps) and jewelry that is not over the top. Stick to basics in your power suits so that you will be comfortable and your message can be re-inforced by the confidence of the subtle power suit. All of this is designed to get attention off of your suits and onto your message. I'm a conservative but as a professional woman, I really feel a responsibility to come forward and at least mention this seemingly insignificant part of your campaign because I feel it is much more important than one would guess. Mountains of consulting dollars are spent for just these type of suggestions. Naturally, I don't want you to win the presidency but I don't want to see you fail because someone dressed you in a "baby poop" burnt yellow suit with black necklace and ear rings like some figure who got lost on the way to a Halloween bash.