Some fashionistas dream about Mercedes Benz Fashion Week - I dream about the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Who will wear what? Will my "bundle" method of packing suitcases with shirt, tie and accessory combos make it safely to baggage claim? Will the political elite log in to check their online style albums? Many of my clients are moving from C-SPAN to Primetime for the next two weeks and the stakes are higher.
While most politicians are not aiming for a spot on the best-dressed list, there is a uniform for standing at the podium: navy suit, white shirt, red tie (sometimes blue). The conventions are Poliwood's Sundance Film Festival with lots of meeting, greeting, and speaking; outfits even get better as the week comes to a close. Like walking the red carpet, the RNC and DNC conventions are a time to shine, so don't re-wear last year's best threads!
I asked Michael Steele, fashion plate and former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, to share his top three style tips for speakers at this year's RNC and DNC conventions. Here is what the political analyst for MSNBC and partner at Purple Nation Solutions advises:
• "Wear a suit your mother would be proud to see you dressed in!" Your suit should reflect your style even if you're not stylish. Add a pocket square and accentuate with a nice tie. Michael says many politicians are partial to the "George Bush baby blue" tie in a solid light blue, calling it one of the prettiest shades of blue connoting softness and strength.
• "Adding a tie pin and cuff links will set off a nice suit perfectly!" Michael says this is definitely an occasion to wear cuff links (even if you're not a cuff links person). Michael encourages speakers to "frame your words with your cuff links and tie pin" to complete your powerful look.
• "Comfortable underwear and shoes are a necessity." You will spend at least 12 hours walking around - Michael advises to be comfortable and make sure your clothes "fit in a way that you don't feel trapped." Need we say more?
Be sure to add your American flag pin and leave your button cuff shirts at home. And, look out for a stylish Michael Steele - he will be the tall guy in wild colors, striped shirts, and a purple seersucker suit.
Fashion Whip is a political style column in the Huffington Post by Lauren A. Rothman, inspired by Lauren's experience as the founder of Styleauteur, a style and fashion consulting firm.