Nearly two years ago I wrote about how Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel were enamoured with the dumpy-frumpy pant suit. But while trousers are the ultimate practical outfit Hillary looks awful in a these dated trousers, matching suit jacket and a boring blouse/necklace look. To my mind the effect is even worse when a bright, or “feminine” colour is chosen in order to stand out in a sea of men. But even in charcoal there is something depressing about these outfits. The length on the jacket cuts across Hillary’s figure at the hip line, shortening her legs and making her look really wide. The kitten shoes somehow emphasise the thickness of her legs. By choosing these outfits Hillary was saying – I dress for comfort and style is superficial – I am a feminist and I don’t want to look pretty. It must be uncomfortable to have your outfits pilloried in the press – Hillary is not a naturally stylish woman, but sometimes you just have to take advice from experts.
Recently Hillary has changed. I suspect she finally listened to some sensible style advice. As she gets closer to becoming the first female president of the United States I have to say Hillary has, at least in the style stakes, finally cracked it.
She has toned the whole thing down, and has adopted what can only be described as a sleek look. She now looks classy, elegant and upmarket.
Starting with the hair Hillary has a nice, clean cut. Her round face is flattered by a soft face framing style. Her make up is good too – a clear red lipstick. In her brown Chanel style jacket (with matching trousers) the old masculine lapels are jettisoned and she wears a softer, simple round neck. It is a feminine shape, but also elegant and modern. The soft brown is flattering and looks great with the most understated jewellery. Although Hillary is choosing neutrals and “men’s suit” colours more often (navy, brown and black) she is sticking with elegant, classic shapes. However she hasn’t rejected colour entirely and I really like the red coat with black trousers in the second picture. It is a modern looking coat with an asymmetric neckline, interesting pockets and a split that elongates her figure. But look at the shape of the trousers. They are slim fitting, tapering to the feet and there is no horizontal at the ankle to cut her feet off. The same look could have been achieved with a red dress matched with dark tights and boots or plain shoes. Again the jewellery and hair are minimalist.
Here are three further examples. In the first picture the suit is absolutely plain, dark navy with a round neck – again she has dropped the harsh lapel look for a classic, restrained but feminine look. There is an absence of bulk, texture and pattern. This is a high authority outfit. The pearls lift the darkness and reflect a little light to the face. She looks professional and in charge here, rather than somewhat comical in a those odd pant suits.
The second outfit is interesting. It is a red jacket, worn with narrow black trousers and boot-shoes. The round necked jacket has a matching cravat that softens and feminises the look considerably, but is also neat and commanding. I also like the final look – a navy blouse with a simple white top underneath. The jacket is almost coat length, again over simple navy trousers and neat shoes. The outfit is so simple and elegant it almost doesn’t get noticed. And that is perhaps the point. These looks are not showcasing American designers in the way that First Ladies might do. These looks, while respectably modern, are not cutting edge. A version of these outfits would work well for virtually any business woman, political leader or even a job-seeker. Smart, with plenty of authority, but with enough approachability.
I love the new look Hillary. Do you agree?