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Rosalyn Hoffman

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What to Wear to the State of the Union

Posted: 01/25/2011 1:10 pm

As members of Congress are hustling to line up dates from the opposite party for tonight's State of the Union speech, we've been considering what advice to give them on color coordination. If you remember, at last year's State of the Union address the House Chamber was afloat in a sea of conciliatory purple.

The question is should this year's class repeat a mix of mauve, lilac and lavender? The answer. Absolutely not. No fashionista worth their front row seat would ever wear the same color two years in a row. (Remember black is not a color.) More importantly, as a symbol of peace and unity, those mixed shades of red and blue didn't sell well the first time. It's time for a new direction.

Fortunately, we need not fret over the costuming of the Supreme Court Justices and members of the military who will arrive in their respective uniforms of hipster-black and chic navy and olive-drab. We were a bit stumped, however, about the best advice for the politicians from opposite sides of the aisle who will be sitting side-by-side tonight.

First, we considered tossing out both party colors, red and blue, in favor of the third flag shade -- white. It is clean. It is sanitized. It is symbolic of a fresh new start. But then we remembered, hey, these are politicians we are talking about. White, really?

What if everyone trades colors for a day? Democrats arriving for the speech clad in red and Republicans attired in blue. Both sides would be signifying a willingness to live in someone else's skin. (Just think, the new Speaker could have a clash free moment.) But, we got nervous. Too risky. What if someone organized a dirty tricks night and everyone showed up in red?

How about if everyone comes as they are? No party identified colors. No memos. No brokered back room deals. Individuals representing their constituents coming to hear the President, willing to listen and respond without lining up on one side or another. That is when we realized we were on the wrong track.

Our representatives should not be worrying about displaying Party colors, but about representing the interest of the people. Congress should be finding every opportunity they can to trumpet the work of the people: American creativity; American manufacturing; American business.

Instead of worrying about a color scheme focused on the special interests of each political party, how about a show of unity with the American worker by wearing only garments designed by American designers, and manufactured in this country by US owned companies? And, just like that, we had the answer.

The evening's color theme? Nude.

Read more from Rosalyn Hoffman at Bitches on a Budget.
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