Recently we got our second female Prime Minister, Theresa May. So far she has been doing OK, but she has a heck of a job in front of her. Sorting out a new relationship with Europe in a period of austerity and industrial decline isn’t an easy job. But as I always say this is a style and sewing blog, so what do we think of the clothes?
I have had my eye on Mrs May for a while as one of the very few politicians who seems to actually like clothes and enjoy fashion. Although she is very much a mainstream Tory MP she takes quite a lot of risks with her outfits, which I have to admire.
Theresa has a good semi-straight figure with rather wide shoulders and not much indentation at the waist. I think she may be self conscious of her shoulders as she is sometimes a bit hunched. She ought to feel proud of herself and her country and stand a little taller. Her best feature is surely her long, slim legs and her thick, grey hair.
Let’s have a look at what she has been wearing.
Here are some hits. A clean, sharp outline; tidy hair; largish silvery jewellry, good red lipstick, authority colours – navy and black – with a splash of colour – red, lime green and khaki, sleeves which show off her arms and hands; emphasis on the legs. The first outfit is really nice – I am pretty sure it’s a Vivienne Westwood number with the skirt pulled to the side and the overlarge buttons. The second picture is a little more conservative but very elegant and “in charge”. The shoes stop it being too much like a school speech day. And I really like the brownish-greenish suit with a black coat in the third picture. I would have found a more interesting bag and gloves to lift this outfit – mauve or emerald perhaps.
Now let’s look at Theresa in trousers. Trouser suits. Pant suits. I just don’t think these work as well. Again I am guessing we have Westwood outfits, so no shortage of wow factor. But somehow by failing to style them effectively Theresa seems to have driven the irony out of them. The first blue-grey suit has a peculiar semi-padded lapel, which just looks a bit like a life-jacket. It might have worked with a more important blouse, in a stripe or a contrasting colour, and the necklace is just too “Marks and Sparks” for the outfit. It needs a gekko or a nice antique brooch perhaps. And the light blue bag is completely wrong.
I feel if you wear an “out there” outfit you need to follow it through and really wear it with conviction. If you don’t it kind of wears you. And the same is true of the tartan pant suit. It makes a real statement (she didn’t wear this for meeting Nicola Sturgeon), but why wear a boring black belt, cream blouse and a teeny tiny pin badge? A neat black cashmere tank top and a big silver ring, or wear just trousers with a bottle green fitted blouse and leave the jacket for another day. Maybe a red belt and shoes would look better? The final outfit is much more conservative and dated. But I like the narrower trousers better than the fashionable wide legs.
Although Theresa looks good in trousers by choosing a wide leg she makes her whole body appear a bit, well, wide. The narrow navy pants show her ankles and look much better. When she shows her legs she looks slimmer and taller. I think both these Westwood jackets would be better with a neat skirt, bare-coloured tights and cool shoes.
Sometimes Mrs May looks a bit of a mess. In these images Theresa has made a mistake of creating too much fuss. The patchwork Westwood jacket needs a more streamlined partner. This jacket might just about be OK over say a close fitting green or purple dress, but not with the swagged skirt – she looks like a parcel. The light grey pant suit is too shiny and makes her look rather bulky. The patterned multi coloured coat is horrible and I am sorry to say that red boots are never a good look. The accessories are poor too – beige gloves, tan bag, red boots and abstract painting coat is just weird.
In conclusion our new PM is interested in fashion and is willing to take risks. She has a sense of fun and drama and is brave and adventurous. The Daily Mail even suggested she is dressing like Cara Delevingne.
The clothes the Prime Minister chooses help to make her more accessible to women and help her stand out in a sea of men. She can look great when she obeys a few style rules. Dear Theresa, here are my suggestions:
- Get a good hair cut! The accidental central parting, and the sometimes fluffy/messy outline is not so good. You need a hair style that looks good at all times, in all weathers
- Stock up on a good neutral wardrobe avoiding patterns on the outerwear – navy, charcoal, khaki, dark brown, mid grey, airforce blue
- Smart dresses in a solid colour with an interesting twist work well
- Pencil skirts in plain fabrics or a small texture (eg tweed) are nice
- Wear a proper blouse not a T shirt. You need more authority. If you want a round neck avoid showing the cleavage and chose silk not cotton jersey
- Trousers suits are OK if they fit nicely and flatter your figure, Consider slim-fitting trousers or shorter lengths eg shorts, culottes, or a nice jump suit
- Invest in some great coats that cover up everything and look very smart. Strong colours are OK eg red, shocking pink, yellow
- Think about shoes, belts and bags as a set – not matching but working together to support the overall look. In fact get someone else to carry your bag
- Get some better jewellery from Liberty or choose interesting vintage pieces
- Don’t be frightened to wear a hat to church services and other formal occasions
- Always wear red lipstick and just a little make up
- Most of your shoes are great but the flashy boots are just a bit too theatrical
- Wear British designers and include products from Scotland, Ireland and Wales eg knitwear, Welsh woolens, Irish linen, tweeds, tartan and Scottish cashmere
- Smile more