I'm not a clothes horse. Somehow I didn't inherit that gene. I wear nice clothes every now and then for business, but for the most part I'm very happy in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. But even I know there are times you just gotta look good.
So where I agree that Ms. Palin needed to doll up a bit from her Alaska "chic" to take on the national stage, I do feel her handlers didn't do her any favors. $150K? WTH? That's over four times the average U.S. salary ($720/week according to the Bureau of Labor). Even in good times it would be excessive. With things going south, it reeks of eating cake while folks lose their houses and their jobs. Worse yet, it goes against The Brand (hockey mom who shops at Wal-Mart.)
No I don't completely fault Ms. Palin for this, though some of the onus should fall on her. Where she might not have known exactly how much all those high end clothes cost, questions should have been asked. I know I would have asked when something from Neiman Marcus landed in my lap. When she did find out about the prices, she should have shook her head and demanded a trip to J. C. Penneys or Dillards. They sell business clothes. Nice business clothes, and the purchases would have reinforced Palin's image of the average mom.
You don't go against the brand (unless you're Madonna who can get away with it). You can't claim to be for the little guys if you're wearing shoes that cost as much as their paycheck. Just don't fly.
So what would I have recommended? Well, the suit at the top of this blog costs $59.99, not counting shipping. I picked a red one as I know that's what the Gov favors. Add a lace top underneath to counter all those folks bitching about showing a little cleavage and she's got it. $60, not $2000 and above. (Note to all those who are combat shoppers -- I know you folks woulda got better deals at Neiman Marcus and Saks.)
So to all those handlers who did the actual shopping: what were you thinking? Are you that out of touch with the message that you just fly on autopilot? Apparently so. That seems to be the case with the entire McCain/Palin campaign. How sad.