12/09/2013 05:20 pm ET

Hillary, Michelle, Chirlane: Chirlane McCray Is A New Kind Of First Lady

Spencer Platt via Getty Images

At a sidewalk campaign stop on an Indian-summer afternoon, Chirlane McCray chats warmly but warily with a high-strung blond about real estate, fashion, and McCray’s husband, who stands fast by her side. Soon to become mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio is pale, 6'5", garrulous, and gawky, while McCray is petite, cornrowed, and dark, with low-lidded eyes—her husband’s opposite in all the ways that don’t really matter. Her well-wisher, meanwhile, looks more like what McCray recently called a “Muffy person”—the kind of woman, she explained, whom politicians typically marry.

“He’s got a beautiful shirt on,” says the blond, pointing to de Blasio. “What do you call that, like, a tattersall?”

Read more on Elle