Apparently, it has.
And I broaden this concept by adding that clothes have their own meaning and therefore transmit a specific message, be it political or otherwise.
I am writing this article because while reading the newspapers, and not just those of gossip, it seems that the styles of politicians, first ladies and rulers today make more news than what Madonna has worn during her vacation in Apulia!
Are politicians and rules the news fashion influencers?
I do not know; they certainly are becoming more and more a topic of discussion in terms of fashion. And not by chance I am using the word fashion, because fashion is not style. Fashion means following a trend, style is above all an expression of oneself, of one’s own identity.
If we enter into the merits of the latter, the circle of characters of interest is restricted to very few figures.
This summer, for example, photos of Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron during the visit of the American President in Paris were published everywhere on the web, and fierce comments on the dresses worn by the two First Ladies were not lacking.
I am not going to deal with the beauty of the garments worn, with their adequacy not only with respect to the context, but also with respect to the person who wore them because I would have to open a very long parenthesis; here I simplyask a question.
Who do you think has shown her own style and identity and who on the contrary has proved to simply follow fashion?
I would say that the answer is obvious.
Melania is very beautiful, nothing to say; she would look good with anything thanks to her body, but I think it is blatantly obvious that she is playing a role, namely that of the President’s wife.
The choice of clothes is always accurate, of course, but almost obvious. She follows the fashion and respects the dress code, but can we understand what her personality is through her outward image?
Actually, I can’t. She gives me more the impression of a doll, the Barbie model.
Brigitte Macron, instead, manifests her nature also through the garments she wears and even if initially criticized by the media for her choices judged ‘scandalous’, today she is admired for her boldness and has beenelected interpreter of a new freedom that manifests itself also through clothing. Personally, I do not like her style much, but it is hers and is unique.
Although her short skirts are long talked about considering her 64 years, this is globally her distinctiveness in terms of clothing as were Jackie Kennedy’s hats.
Intending to go beyond and going back to the original question, the answer is “yes, it has”: definitely,if a dress coherently expresses the style of a person, it also helps to demonstrate authority and credibility, and therefore it may have a political value.
By no coincidence they often speak of style and leadership.
Particularly in politics, style choices in terms of clothing are a clear statement of intentions that do not always manage to conciliate image and personality.
Think of Margaret Thatcher’s transformation when she became Prime Minister or, in more recent times,of Diana Spencer (whose twentieth anniversary is celebrated these days); think of Kate Middleton, or of YuliaTymoshenko, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister.
In Italy, an example of the past to be mentioned is Irene Pivetti (do you remember her suits?); today we have Mara Carfagna.
I am not mentioning them at randomsince they have a similar path, only contrariwise. Pivetti was Minister and then soubrette, Carfagna – as you may know – before entering politics was a woman of entertainment.
Should you think of these women, which of them transmit you authority?
Those who undertake a transformation of their image only in the wake of the new role – and not fostering the search for their identity / personality (whose process can also happen through a dress) – are not credible and this message reaches the public loud and clear.
I’ll give you an example: Hillary Clinton.
Her style, conceived as a combination of approach and clothing, has in some way penalized her because as a whole it was too aggressive, too ‘masculine’ and in an after all conservative America, this choice did not proved to be successful to such an extent that an antagonist exactly embodying very traditional values and principles won. She often reminded me of Merkel.
Another example based on politics. Jeremy Corbin, head of the Labor Party, who lost in the race to the office of Prime Minister of the British Parliament last June.
Mr. ”50 shades of beige “, as he wasrenamed by the Daily Express, has been criticized by the national press for his unkempt style, very little concerned about colors, matches, sizes. An anonymous style that does not fit a figure intending to hold an institutional position. During the campaign, Corbin has also worked on this aspect trying to identify a more defined personal style and the polls confirmed that this change was rewarded at the media level, but not enough to win.
Mass media havereproached him for not being credible and authoritative even in clothing, a clear sign that although a professional is a person of ‘substance’, also ‘form’ needs to be considered because if looks aren’t everything, yet they help.
The shorts of the Mayor of Viareggio are another matter: he showed up wearing Bermuda shorts in August in a restaurant wherelong garments were explicitly required. Here we are probably facing a different case because possiblyshort trousers express the personality of the Mayor, but did not respect a dress code from which no one should exempt, not even a public office.
A dress speaks about you, how true this is!
The more comfortable you feel in that dress, the more self-confidence and credibilityyou transmit.
The process should therefore be as follows:
- Know ourselves, our personality and then identify our own identity
- Understanding our personal style, consistent with our identity
- Having an outward image that is in line with our style
It almost seems an Aristotelian syllogism, but everything comes together in the end.
If our inner reality and our externality coincide then our image will be credible, authoritative and we will also be able to express a sense of leadership.
All this to say that we women often enter a crisis, especially in professional contexts with a high number of blue shares, just about clothing.
How can we be heard without our image influencing the impression that others get of us?
During the workshops that I often carry out in corporate contexts, especially when the public is made up of professionals in the commercial or managerial area, the theme of how a woman should dress is one of the most popular.
A female professional is still judged according to her clothing, even today. Paradoxically, this does not happen so much during an interview (as emerged throughout some conversations with some recruiters that I will publish shortly), but it comes from her colleagues.
Hence, a woman who works in the commercial area mistakenly thinks that by adopting a ‘sexier’ clothing can win over a client, while a woman who wants to make a career on the managerial front thinks instead of having to hide her womanliness in austere clothes.
Again, I say that leadership is something that expresses itself beyond the dress we wear, but definitely a dress can be a great tool to assert our personality and it is from the latter that we must build our own style.