The Fashion Whip is a political style column in the Huffington Post by Lauren Rothman and Christina Wilkie. Rothman is the founder of Styleauteur.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, the raven-haired Barbie of the political Right, ushered in this year wearing lots of yellow, with luminous waves and a smile that called to mind her political fairy godmother, Sarah Palin.
But as the months passed, a Beltway product gradually replaced the authentic Bachmann. This woman ordered photographers not to shoot her wearing causal clothes and seemed to aspire to the ultra-executive working woman look (save for her not-so-subtle use of false eyelashes).
Along the way she dropped the classic Republican red power suits in favor of cold neutrals -- gray, black and white. The only remaining accessories from the days before her presidential aspirations are her slightly wonky shoes, which look out of place on the new, more expensive version of Bachmann.
On the presidential campaign trail, Bachmann took a risk by wearing white tops for numerous televised debates -- a color that attracts light on screen, making nearly everyone who dons it look like they're wearing a blanket. She also debuted a tight chignon bun, hiding her beautiful, glossy hair.
On occasion, however, she did sport a trendy blowout. (Blow-dry bars are sprouting up across the country, and for about $35 for a half-hour of pampering, we can all have big, fluffy, Hollywood hair -- at least for a day.)
Bachmann closes out the year looking less like a normal person and more like a product of full-time stylists and make-up artists, with little left of the Minnesota mom who captivated the GOP's conservative base in 2010. Instead she has become a politician for mass consumption, with too much makeup and tacky,French-manicured acrylic nails.
If for any reason Bachmann doesn't win the presidency (gasp), she will be forced to transition back to semi-civilian life as a member of Congress next year, and she'll have to get by in a world with a lot less lipstick and a lot more boring meetings. How ever will she manage?
Until then check out the slideshow for the best and worst of Bachmann's presidential style evolution.
And follow @FashionWhip on Twitter for live coverage of style and politics at the Republican debate on Saturday, December 10.
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