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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fashion: Waiting to follow in Jackie O’s footsteps

    Cindy McCain’s blonde updo is timeless and works with her pantsuit as easily as it would with a flowing ball gown. Although the color screams dyed, it works with her skin tone. … This yellow pantsuit is a good cut for McCain’s petite figure but the color’s all wrong. She looks washed out in the tan-yellow fabric, and the light shade makes unironed wrinkles pop.

    It doesn’t matter if you lean to the left or the right. It’s safe to say that potential first ladies Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain borrow from the playbook of the quintessential Jackie O, Jacqueline Kennedy, in terms of image and style.

    “”The first lady has kind of become an office in it of itself,”” said Nikkita Edmond, a political science graduate student. “”It’s like an image that started with Jackie Kennedy.””

    Jackie O was known for a chic and fashion-forward style that was suitable for any first lady.

    Paging Jackie O, McCain presents a “”Mom chic look,”” as Tyra Banks called it on the “”Tyra Banks Show.””

    “”Everything she’s wearing is very classy, her fashion is timeless, more conservative,”” said business sophomore Ashley. “”I relate more to Cindy’s fashion, she makes a bold statement.””

    Some students think Obama dresses to the standards of her husband’s campaign, which considers one of its goals to be changing the face of Washington politics.

    “”Michelle Obama reflects the modern sensibility of the Obama campaign,”” said Andrea Polk, a political science graduate student. “”The Obamas look more like a normal American family.””

    While McCain and Obama can both be compared to Jackie O in sense of style, UA students are split on which potential first lady Jackie O would most relate to.

    “”I’m going to say Jackie O would go with Michelle just because Cindy plays it a little safer,”” journalism junior Portia Robinson said.

    Rafkin disagreed, saying, “”I think Jackie O would relate more to Cindy; she is more conservative and Michelle is less conservative.””

    While everyone seemed to agree that McCain’s style is more conservative, some students said both of the McCain’s fashion sensibilities play out stereotypes of the Republican Party.

    “”Cindy reflects kind of like old money,”” Polk said. “”The McCains look far apart from the middle class.””

    While style and questions of whether or not the first ladies dress more or less conservatively or fashionably are thrust upon them, fashion doesn’t really seem to be such an issue for the male candidates.

    “”This is an issue that we don’t talk about with men,”” said Kara Ellerby, a political science graduate student with a focus on international gender politics. “”Male politicians, people are paying more attention to what they say, and for the women politicians and first ladies are supposed to look good and not say much.””

    When it comes to elections there is no study that shows first ladies affect the outcome of an election and neither does their dress, said political science professor Barbara Norrander.

    Whether you compare the first lady to Jackie O or talk about the first lady’s role in terms of political sway, Robinson summed it up best.

    “”How (the first ladies) dress is a reflection of who they are, while representing a nation,”” Robinson said. “”Their dress is a reflection of the women in your country.””

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