A dressing down

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been lamenting Washington’s lack of style for years. The era of the pantsuit was particularly painful — I think I was the only Washington woman to expose her calves for the first half of Hillary Clinton’s Senate term.  So, believe me, I’m happily dancing on the grave of the navy-blue suit.

But I have mixed feelings about the new focus on fashion. Today’s Post site has breathless page-one coverage of the Indian state dinner. And, really, I can almost feel Robin Givhan panting on my neck, “Desirée Rogers silently declared the evening a full-wattage fashion moment in a pale peach Comme des Garçons gown!” and Michelle Obama’s “ensemble announced that no-holds-barred, Hollywood-style sexy glamour had arrived in Washington!”

But damned if I can find out what Barack Obama and Manmohan Singh actually discussed in their high-level talks. Not that I think such things belong in state-dinner coverage. I’m a reporter, I get the editorial judgment at play here. I just want to find that information somewhere. And I fear that we’ve chucked that old stand-by, substance, in favor of style.

Maybe it’s that, not so deep down, I’m a wonk and a dork. Maybe it’s that I don’t always admire Michelle Obama’s sartorial choices (I thought the bodice of her gown was cut queerily and had a strangely hard, Dynasty-like effect). Or maybe I’m nostalgic for the days when I got to stand out, be-skirted in a sea of pantsuits.

6 Responses to “A dressing down”

  1. [...] the Hill staffers and PR interns in this town have their own fashion blogs, for chrissakes, and the pantsuit died with Hillary Clinton’s Senate [...]

  2. [...] don’t make me lament the departure of Desirée Rogers and Robin Givhan from these parts. Because this must be the lamest, least imaginative pre-State [...]

  3. [...] every one of these items has character. Together, the effect was not bad, precisely, but kind of Hill staffer. And, truth be told, I felt kind of Hill staffer-esque: anxious and antsy and like I ought to speak [...]

  4. [...] all my kvetching, I don’t disagree. Here’s why: D.C. is hardly stylistically stellar. I rarely walk down [...]

  5. [...] Congress for wearing an open-toed pump, a la the late Robert Byrd. Still, I’ve seen far worse fashion faux pas on the [...]

  6. [...] has mixed feelings. Just as I felt like I lost a bit of my individuality when D.C. women en masse ditched the pantsuit for a smart dress, I worry, will I stop standing out if every other female drinker goes straight [...]

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