When I think about politics for the last few years, I get very upset. The campaigning and activism I got into didn’t work for me. A neuromuscular therapist is what I do for a living, but with Covid, my life changed. I went back to school and studied political science. I just got an internship at my state Senate. I want to make a good impression, but I like the idea of wearing something unique that makes a statement. Beside my black wool skirt and turtleneck, I also have a black wool sweater and black boots. Do you have any more ideas? — Susan lives in Northfield, MN.
In the first place, congrats on the internship! That’s very interesting. Another thing that makes this week better than any other week is seeing someone who isn’t afraid of politics but wants to work with them to make things better.
But when it comes to the system in question, your thoughts are correct. You should think about what you wear when you think about this. Hillary Rosen, vice chair of SKDKnickerbocker, told me once that the general rule for politicians is to dress for ambiguity so that they don’t scare away voters because of their clothes. As a rule of thumb, that means wearing clothes that aren’t very unique, so only your words stand out.
People in politics don’t always follow this rule, like Senator Kyrsten Sinema, but she is an exception with a good reason.
For people who work for legislators, this is even more true than it is for people who don’t. You don’t want people to talk about what you wear before they talk about your work. She said you should start by doing some research. Tammy Haddad, a former MSNBC political director, told you to do that. Go thru the local news and look at what the people who are running for the State Senate are wearing. Choose a person to look up to.
“Then, play it safe,” said the woman. “The black skirt and turtleneck are a good place to start.”
Ms. Haddad thinks that Dr. Deborah Birx’s scarves are a good example of how to make a scarf. The pins and face masks of Madeleine Albright and Nancy Pelosi are also on this list, so look at them too. “It could be something you carry with you, like an interesting computer sleeve or a small purse,” she said. Getting a Shinola hardback notebook with your name on it could be a good idea.
Dressing up with “fun patterned tights” is a good way to add personality, especially with a simple skirt and boots. Lyn Paolo, who worked on both “The West Wing” and “Scandal,” also says this. So does Swedish Stockings, which also has a club for old hose that can be recycled.
When she was talking about what to wear with her dark skirt, she said, “I would also add a long cardigan and a jacket.” Also, some wide-leg pants. It doesn’t matter how many times you mix and match these five items if you stay with one color scheme. It’s just good sense to do that.