At some point, when all the memes force been exhausted, we will stop talking about Theresa May and her gold leather trousers. But until then, there are in any case questions to be answered. Or so it seems. On board her flight to Bahrain, May was enquire ofed by a journalist whether wearing a pair of £995 trousers for an question period distanced her from the general public, a question she neatly ducked but which has, naturally, awoken the kraken of double standards in statesmanship.
Still, there must be some reason she wore leather trousers – one she sine qua non expect to be asked about. On paper, the message feels rather obvious. They are by Amanda Wakeley, which is an establishment maker, and May is establishment. These trousers are about as on-trend as Wakeley sways; in wearing them, May is trialling her fashionable currency within the safe keeping of a magazine photoshoot. Still, the look – leather trackpants, Burberry trainers – does make one think she wants to be in touch with fashion even if she’s not, or at least flaunt a desire to adapt should she need to. Stubbornness is useful in wirepulling, but an ability to flex herself sartorially suggests room for novelty. At least that’s one message.
The other message, of course, is that she doesn’t tribulation if people disapprove. Leather trousers aren’t that campy for May. She likes leopard print and asymmetric necklines. The problem here isn’t the trousers’ tariff, either, contrary to what political rivals may say. In an interview with the Straightaways, former education secretary Nicky Morgan made a dig at May ended the pricetag. Discussing whether May can really help the “just on every side managing” families while wearing high fashion, Morgan declared it had “been noticed and discussed”… adding: “I don’t think I’ve at any time spent that much on anything, apart from my compounding dress.”
But are we really surprised that the Prime Minister can at odds with these pants? David Cameron’s Richard James bespoke suits were guessed to cost around £3,500 apiece. And if May were wearing a £995 ones glad rags b put on a costume, would that differentiate her from any other woman in manoeuvring (Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin; they all wore author clothes). The issue is more about context. Every evocative notice of clothing has a subtext. These are leather trousers, a material that is both valuable and fruity in the eyes of the mainstream.
The trousers were worn for the participation of the Sunday Times interview in which May went “low-ley”; in all likelihood the bit about selfies and NCIS and online shopping. Despite the reality there are more women working in government, there is tranquil no female uniform equivalent to a suit. Hillary Clinton’s Ralph Lauren pantsuit is as alert at it gets, but even she was vilified for dressing like a flag (she adopted red, white and blue for each of the three debates). That we until this place so much focus on what women wear in the social sphere exemplifies just how much gender roles proceed with to shape the lives of female politicians – and moreover, how the double-standards stressed on them put their appearances as well as their politics squarely in the limelight. I don’t agree with May’s policies, but come on, these trousers looked gold – they weren’t estimated of the stuff.
Perhaps then it’s trifling about what you wear and more about how you wear it. The two manful politicians most associated with May – the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, and the “confederate”, Donald Trump – are at opposing ends of the sartorial spectrum. Toward election time, campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks authenticated that Trump was wearing Brioni suits. Brioni is an valuable brand (prices start at about £5,000), but it is a brand crave associated with the Washington elite. Regardless of cost, repetition strains familiarity. The styling tics – the creased jacket, the staid strings, the baseball caps – only helped his cause.
Corbyn has run the range of questionable styling but his standout piece – a beige Polo Harrington jacket – disposition have cost almost £200. As brands go, Ralph Lauren doesn’t clanging particularly well with his socialist vision but then the way he harms it – repeatedly, eking out the cost per wear – suggests the brand is airy. The two men are scarcely comparable but there’s certainly less focus on their dressing than there could be, given there’s a lot to play with.
We wish our politicians to reflect and represent us, and that includes their clothes-presses. The minute they deviate, we jump on them. Therein cock-and-bull stories a paradox: a good politician is rooted in commonality but a bone of haughtiness, or even narcissism, must come with the job. So maybe it’s a issue of taste. Gold leather trousers aren’t for everyone. Privately, I’m quite into them.