Who would have thought that Sarah Palin’s potential undoing less than two weeks before the election would come by way of fashion? Her $150K wardrobe has become a sensation. We understand the desire to look good and wear expensive clothing and would guess most women do. Given the opportunity — even if the goods are basically rentals — we wouldn’t say no to a giant lot of them either. But Joe Six-Pack isn’t our BFF and we’re not running for the second highest office in this country on the premise that he is, so it’s not a problem. But even though Palin looks smashing in her new threads, were the McCain campaign’s harried shopping sprees at Saks and Neiman Marcus worth it?
• Robin Givhan thinks the McCain campaign were pretty dumb to blow the RNC cash at Barneys, Saks, and Neiman Marcus since those stores are so incongruous with Palin’s “you betcha” image. “No one can make the argument that the only store open in Minneapolis in early September was the local Neiman Marcus. They couldn’t have popped into J. Crew or Ann Taylor? On ‘What Not to Wear,’ Clinton and Stacy manage to build an entire wardrobe for their client for a mere $5,000.” Touché. [WP]
• Cathy Horyn doesn’t understand why Palin couldn’t have done the shopping herself since we have this wonderful thing called e-commerce nowadays. It annoys her that other people are choosing, buying, and explaining the clothing for her. She also wonders if Palin’s purchases were made in America, which a vice-presidential candidate so concerned about job creation should be conscious of. [On the Runway/NYT]
• Melinda Henneberger doesn’t think looking good is a problem and notes many women buy clothes they “shouldn’t” be buying anyway. “[A]s someone who in my first year out of grad school spent a cool third of her annual income on an Yves Saint Laurent cocktail dress I wore twice, I have no rocks to throw on this one and am … in SP’s corner.” [Slate]
• Carolyn Asome breaks down the wardrobe costs of other political ladies and notes certain items worn by Sarah Palin were on the cheap side. One of Palin’s Elie Tahari jackets costs 184 pounds, while Michelle Obama’s Moschino dress costs 595 pounds and Carla Bruni’s Dior jacket costs 1,430 pounds. [Times UK]