January 21, 2016

Sarah Palin's sweater — "a mini-black cardigan studded with what resembled needle-thin, glistening stalactites."

Yeah, endorsing Donald Trump, Sarah Palin did choose to wear what looked like a sweater full of needles!

Robin Givhan points — ouch — it out:
... the cardigan shimmered glamorously under the lights.... she picked at the wounds... The fashion industry may have long argued that spangles are not just for the cocktail hour and beyond, but that philosophy has made little headway in the world of campaign politics. So to see a politician — someone who is ostensibly not the star of the rally but a supporting player — dressed in such a bold manner, was to see someone who has come to steal the spotlight rather than share it.
Oh! The needles were out for Donald Trump? I would have thought they were armor against all her attackers. All the little pricks. The needle dicks.
Palin’s cardigan was not ugly — not exactly, not terribly — but it was distracting... Instead of listening to her, one tended to just look at her. 
That never happened to me, but I had YouTube playing on my iPhone which was lying on the counter as I did one thing and another, including taking a bath. Isn't that how you do video of political speeches? Also, I'm not a fashion critic, except when the spirit moves me.
The cardigan was flashy. It was proudly outside the realm of vetted political attire. It wasn’t safe and it wasn’t decorous. It was vaguely gaudy, with a hint of kitsch. And for a political affair it was inappropriate — which in the politically disruptive universe of Palin, made it perfect.
I agree! It was perfect. A sweater full of needles. What a message! Be the metaphor. But Givhan should have woven in Palin's use of clothing metaphor. In her million-pricks cardigan, she said:
[H]e’s got the guts to wear the issues that need to be spoken about and debate on his sleeve, where the rest of some of these establishment candidates, they just wanted to duck and hide. They didn’t want to talk about these issue until he brought ‘em up. In fact, they’ve been wearing a, this, political correctness kind of like a suicide vest
So get out of that suit of opinions that's killing you and slip into something softly knitted on your side with thousands of needles sticking out at everyone else. You can do it, and it will look way cuter than that political correctness outfit you'd thought was de rigueur these past 20 seasons.

ADDED: Clothes as armor was a Jackie Kennedy idea:
This was a woman who, upon learning that her husband had won the presidential election, confessed: "I feel as though I had just turned into a piece of public property. It's really frightening to lose your anonymity at 31." And who, a few weeks later, in a letter to Oleg Cassini, the designer charged with furnishing her official wardrobe, was pleading: "PROTECT ME, as I seem so mercilessly exposed and don't know how to cope with it."

The solution was a closet full of body armor... [T]he result was a tour de force of optical illusion: These were clothes that recognized Jackie's central position on the national stage without ceding an iota of her privacy. These clothes were Parisian in inspiration and unfailingly Modernist in cut, but their starchy fabrics and formless shapes were designed to guarantee not front-page coverage in WWD... but protection from the insatiable hordes.

61 comments:

traditionalguy said...

She blew them away. How can a strict conservative ideologue ever compete with that level human authenticity? Why that's easy. Just condemn Palin being Palin as a crime against our class consciousness. She dared to act equal.

Todd said...

What was the big deal? The outfit looked OK to me. I guess I am not "fashion aware" enough...

Martha said...

"It was vaguely gaudy, with a hint of kitsch."

Well that describes not only Palin's spangly sweater but also the political sideshow of Palin and Trump.

garage mahal said...

Her shirt looks like a native American jingle dress.

Bob Boyd said...

Needles? I thought it was spent .223 brass from her AR.

MayBee said...

I lose track of when we are supposed to focus on female politicians' hair and makeup and when that is sexist.

SayAahh said...

I thought her garb was inappropriate and fugly. Cocktail party attire.
She has not aged well and looked heavy, bloated and moon faced.
Makes me wonder if she is on steroids.

Or is Trump the only one on steroids?

MathMom said...

So, Givhan is criticizing Palin's sartorial choices. What pithy comments did Givhan have for this nightmare? Or this, for Gaia's sake?

Did she call it "fashion forward"?

I call it "bag lady" or "doesn't she own a freaking mirror?", but I'm not a sycophant for all things Democrat.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've noticed that her appearance and clothing have hardened tremendously.

She's armored up. Women often use clothing and makeup as armor. Palin was subjected to the most merciless, vicious campaign of vilification I've ever witnessed. She was very severely wounded.

I don't see any reason to wonder why she has armored herself up.

JHapp said...

animal fur, maybe polar bear

EDH said...

Apropos Andrew Sullivan, those look like Norplant birth control implants.

https://consumeraffairs.global.ssl.fastly.net/files/cache/news/norplant_large.jpg

Karen of Texas said...

Wow. Marching orders must have gone out to attack on the Althouse "conservative" blogosphere. I've missed a few days here and there, but do I spy a couple of left-thinking attack dogs that haven't been here before? Welcome.

Now contribute something with some substance. Jumping on the bash Palin bandwagon? Who'd have thought that would draw you out...

damikesc said...

More evidence: The complaints about sexism because women are judged based on their outfits are silly because it's not men judging them. It's always women. I barely noticed her outfit.

traditionalguy said...

Sarah's persona has morphed more and more into a strong Momma Grizzly. She can still reach out and swipe her a salmon out of the rushing river.

President Trump should appoint her as head of the Federal Bureau of Land Management.

aritai said...

Madame Justice in the making. Good fun. Wonder when she will call for registering all journalists, including those with blogs of over, say, 10,000 readers. And With removing anonymity as part of the registration process, no different than a gun dealership. Plus some liability, if gun dealers face any liability. Does registering as a gun dealer include a fee? Should just replicate the pain for journalists and bloggers. What is good for the goose. Oh my. I/m out of popcorn again.. Not my idea, saw it mentioned in a headline from South or North Carolina. Wager you could interpret those pesky amendments the same ways and insist on reciprocity. You're Brady bunch and all are overdue for some Trump-like populist payback. How many registered gun dealerships are there? And while you're at it, require background checks for readers. I'm out of Butter, can feel my arteries clearing out the fat that's created by insulin system converting allthat vegetable snf oil, sugar and grain into saturated fat just thinking about it. Nice that the FDA has made the U.S. even less competitive. Can't wait until APPL has to build in the U.S. and sacrifice, sizzle. quality, weight and features just to be buildable by your leftist educated and unchallenged youngsters. All the more for me, decreasing competition and raising my salary. Kind’ve like your health care system. Doctor’s and hospitals did so well when you handed another 20% of business without competing for the customer when you forced the young invincibles to buy what they don’t need. To say nothing of forcing women to pay $100s if note $1000s of dollars a year for their birth control which is $12 a year in my country. Granted, we mint our own, don’t pay attention to fancy stuff or patents we don’t need.

Michael K said...

I had to look at SayAaah's profile to determine the sex. I guess bitchy is trans as well as cis.

MathMom said...

aritai -

Paragraphs are your friend.

Brando said...

Maybe everyone is reading too much into the outfit. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

sydney said...

Fashion criticism boils down to "Everything looks marvelous on people I like. Everything looks atrocious on people I dislike."

Karen of Texas said...

Except in Bill Clinton's hand, Brando.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sarah's persona has morphed more and more into a strong Momma Grizzly.

In that sweater she looks more like a Mamma Porcupine.

lgv said...

The glittering sweater was the first thing the wife noticed. She covered her eyes. I cover my ears when Palin speaks. Reading her speech is much better than listening to it. I also felt Donald looked uncomfortable. He was aching to talk while Palin went on and on. Just standing there with a stupid smile while someone else is in the limelight must be painful for such a narcissist.

The bad news on this whole campaign season is that we are getting to know the candidates much better. I'm beginning to not like any of them, especially the top two in each party. After 15 straight years of incompetency, I was hoping for change. I don't think I'm going to get it.

I may pluck out my eyeballs for saying this, but Trump may be the best solution.

JAORE said...

Thank God for this article. Now I have solidified who will get my vote.

Putz.

garage mahal said...

I love how Quitter blamed Obama for her son's drunken rage.

carrie said...

Sarah looks good for her age and works it. She isn't running for anything, so she doesn't need to look like a candidate when she goes to a political event even if she is endorsing a candidate. How were the other women at the event dressed? There is much to criticize about the way Hillary looks and dresses, but the double standard of the press continues and Hillary still gets a pass--Sydney said it well in his post above.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I may pluck out my eyeballs for saying this, but Trump may be the best solution.

Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.

Titus said...

The top was distracting and hideous.

She wore some leather number the next day which looked nice. More leather please Sara.

AllenS said...

I'm wearing bib overalls. Waiting for the wood burner to heat up the shop. Dress accordingly. Palin, I would imagine, thinks like me. Fuck off if you don't like what I'm wearing. Snobs.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Gotta agree with Titus on this.

rehajm said...

Hedgehog Jon Snow.

Michael K said...

"Blogger garage mahal said...
I love how Quitter blamed Obama for her son's drunken rage."

The left is so predictable that I would miss them if reality ever catches them out.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow. Marching orders must have gone out to attack on the Althouse "conservative" blogosphere. I've missed a few days here and there, but do I spy a couple of left-thinking attack dogs that haven't been here before? Welcome."

I reject trolls, which I define as people who want to destroy the forum here, people who hate the blog and want it to die, but I love a wide range of opinions and views, and I don't want the strong set of conservative regulars to make people of the left feel that they can only hit and run and don't really belong here. I am less conservative than the average commenter here and I'd love some support and recognition from the left and I also welcome good-faith attacks from the left and whatever interesting or funny stuff the left might bring to the conversation.

Eric said...

OT but related to fashion, I just heard an interview with former LPGA great and current golf announcer Dottie Pepper wretch at the idea of PGA players wearing shorts.

garage mahal said...

"The left is so predictable that I would miss them if reality ever catches them out."

More predictable is your jumping to the defense of Palin at the slightest criticism. Why do you take it so personally?

David said...

I didn't notice the needles but I sure noticed Sarah. She is 51 years old and looks fabulous. The energy flows from her. Part of it is sexual energy, but also it's the energy of confidence and delight in what she is doing. Confidence and delight are sexual concepts too. She was definitely dressed for sex appeal on that stage, and it worked. But she has that kind of appeal pretty much whatever she wears. It's just her, and it must really really piss off the people who hate her and her politics.

Hagar said...

Have to be with MathMom on this, but the Sarahcuda has always been more biker than haut monde.

mccullough said...

"Shimmer glamorously" doesn't work. Shimmer is a good verb and stands on outs own. If Givhan didn't think it was strong enough, maybe she should have used coruscate. Glamorous is a weak adjective that gets weaker as an adverb.

urpower said...

I read Palin's sweater as like bear fur. Armored bear fur.

urpower said...

Also- note the sweater's seller was referenced yesterday in a news attack, and later lists as being "Sold out." https://www.yahoo.com/style/sarah-palin-is-the-political-fashion-icon-you-162402992.html

Fritz said...

It does look a little like Porcupine quills. It might be amusing (but very painful) to tan some porcupine hide and make a vest like that.

urpower said...

Those 'needles' are made out of silk. https://www.yahoo.com/style/sarah-palin-is-the-political-fashion-icon-you-162402992.html

machine said...

grizzlies don't quit when things get tough...

Michael K said...

"whatever interesting or funny stuff the left might bring to the conversation."

I agree and used to read and comment at leftist blogs until they banned all opposing comments. I have high regard for Kevin Drum and followed him from his own blog "CalPundit" to Washington Monthly, where I was banned because I didn't support single payer and then to Mother Jones where I cannot even wish him well with his cancer treatment.

I am not in favor of bubbles of left or right.

garage, I am just amused at the lame attacks on Palin by you lefties. "Quitter" is one. Her children are a disgrace but Alaska is an odd place to grow up and I know of many problems with children.

bgates said...

grizzlies don't quit when things get tough

Did Hillary quit as Secretary of State or did Obama fire her?

machine said...

she quit...

Jupiter said...

"Palin’s cardigan was not ugly — not exactly, not terribly — but it was distracting... Instead of listening to her, one tended to just look at her."

Yeah, like Robin Givhan was there to listen to what Sarah Palin had to say.

Maybe you should add a "Robin Givhan" tag to this post? Or maybe just a "silly twat" tag?

Karen of Texas said...

Noted, Professor. I am probably 'mid-right' of middle, not what I'd call far right. I appreciate those on the left who want to engage on substance - although I can appreciate a well-aimed leftist barb. Rhythm and Balls and Cook make me want to pull my hair out sometimes, but they also make me think. They yank me out of my bubble.

The whole 'Palin? Attack!' I find tiresome. And the fact that women are some of her harshest, bitchiest attackers just sticks. The woman is making a place for herself in what has typically been a 'man's world'. Really, "war on women" pushers? Criticise her on what she said, not how she said it, how her voice sounded, or what she was wearing when she said it. Deconstruct her positions not her persona. It could be enlightening for both sides.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I don't want the strong set of conservative regulars to make people of the left feel that they can only hit and run and don't really belong here."

Perhaps the reason they behave that way is that they are not accustomed to encountering views that differ from their own. Really, there is something priceless about the way the jaw drops and the eyes spring open, then narrow, sliding quickly to either side. I'm not sure whether they are looking for supporters, or making sure there are no witnesses. Then the firming of the lips, "I know better than to dignify...!". And the hasty sidle for cover.

You are probably not familiar with this process, but we articulate conservatives see it all the time.

Skeptical Voter said...

Good Lord. To a proctologist all the world looks like just one thing. Robin Givhans, who is fixated on fashion, can't talk about political things without larding it up with fashionista commentary. That poor silly twit needs to get a life beyond faux intelligent commentary on couture.

Brando said...

"Good Lord. To a proctologist all the world looks like just one thing. Robin Givhans, who is fixated on fashion, can't talk about political things without larding it up with fashionista commentary. That poor silly twit needs to get a life beyond faux intelligent commentary on couture."

Well, that is her beat. She lost me back when she ripped on Condi Rice's knee high boots which actually looked great on her.

Leslie Graves said...

I thought Althouse and/or Givhan were exaggerating -- engaging in a LOT of exaggeration -- until I clicked on the link.

garage mahal said...

"garage, I am just amused at the lame attacks on Palin"

Any attack on Palin is lame, am I right?

JAORE said...

"Any attack on Palin is lame, am I right?"

Almost never.

Nichevo said...

But keep trying, after all, somebody won the Powerball.

garage mahal said...

Awwww. I think you poor babies will survive.

Quaestor said...

Wasn't it Marx who observed that history repeats itself first as tragedy and later as farce?

Amanda said...

It doesn't/ didn't matter what she wore/ wears, what matters is what comes out of her mouth.

YoungHegelian said...

Maybe Sarah Palin wore a sweater that looked like it was full of needles as a clever outreach by her & Trump to the conservative Catholic community who knew that January 20th is the feast day of Saint Sebastian.

But, noooooooooooooo, you didn't think about that, didja, Little Miss Smarty Pants? Yeah, well, some days ya just get caught out. But Blowhard Trump & Bag of Hammers Sarah, they knew. They knew, right as rain, I tell ya!

dwick said...

If Michelle Obama showed up wearing that sweater she'd be hailed as a style icon on the front page of fashion media outlets for weeks. I heard some woman on the radio the other day cattily say Palin had put on weight... from that WaPo photo, I'd like to see where. ;-)

ken in tx said...

A few years ago, I read--maybe it was here--that Palin met with Trump in a NY pizza joint. I wondered at the time, Why?. What do they have in common? Maybe they hit it off then. Who knows?

ken in tx said...

BTW, she still looks pretty good to me, but then I'm older myself.