Fashion Analysis: The GOP Debate
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
Let's start with moderator Brian Williams, who looked handsome as ever in a striped purple tie that went unmatched among the candidates he was moderating. Purple is a royal color, and Brian owned the ostentation of the choice. Plus, his co-moderator, Politico editor John Harris, matched him in a lighter shade of purple which I found an especially charming decision, given the fact they were moderating a G.O.P debate, not a wedding reception.
Rick Santorum takes the award for worst dressed. The Pennsylvania senator, who attempted to liken himself to the decidedly more captivating and stylish John F. Kennedy on the basis that both of them happen to be Catholic, looked like a 13-year-old school boy in his navy jacket, light blue oxford, and a salmon pink tie. He wore polka dots at the Iowa debate back in August, so I'm beginning to think he likes goofy patterns just as much he likes to say goofy things about rape victims like, "To put them through another trauma of an abortion, I think is too much to ask."
To his right was the always lovely Michele Bachmann. Her starched white Star Trek collar, and stiff mass of blown out, curled and then hair-sprayed-solid hair was endearing in that she looked like she was trying but gave up halfway through. I do think she's pretty though, which might have been at least part of the reason I ignored everything she said during the course of the night.
Newt Gingrich is a confusing character. First off, he chose to shorten the perfectly acceptable name "Newton," to "Newt," a type of lizard. Maybe he was ashamed of being named after a scientist? Secondly, he chose to wear a truly unflattering magenta tie to distinguish himself from the group.
Then there was crowd favorite Mitt Romney, who tricked everyone into thinking he was harmless by wearing a very innocuous steal blue suit and a matching tie in a pleasant diamond pattern. If it wasn't for that two tone hair of his, black everywhere else except for two small patches on either side of his head, he might look more "President" and less "Frankenstein."
Rick Perry was boring in a plain blue tie and navy suit, and I don't want to talk about Rick Perry anymore.
Herman Cain was best dressed of the night. He went for a dark double breasted suit jacket which is simply impossible to outclass, paired with a buttery yellow tie. He looked sharp, and after demanding that "America has got to learn to take a joke" in Iowa, he might have been trying to get serious.
Mitt Romney's mortal enemy Jon Hunstman looked dapper in his on-trend mustard yellow tie and deep navy suit jacket. His orange fake tan was a total mood killer though, and distracted from the often-times reasonable points he was making.
Ron Paul, who, during a break in the debate, got a little touchy-feely with Rick Perry in a moment of heated conversation, wore a diagonal striped tie in steely silver, white, and blue. Yawn. At least there were plenty of TSA jokes going around to get our attention. And when the T.S.A jokes run out, let's hope these candidates learn that style is just as much as a priority as the economy.
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