‘You’ve Got Hate!’ What Not to Wear Edition

Posted November 15, 2013 at 1:00pm

The consensus appears to be that playing fashion critic is not my strong suit.

(Courtesy Jamison Foser)
(Courtesy Jamison Foser)

A recent 93-word intrusion into Federal Reserve nominee Janet L. Yellen’s wardrobe has spawned pages and pages of unbridled outrage, prompting feminists, economists and all-around pragmatists to flood comment boards and social-media feeds with burning questions about this publication’s sudden interest in sartorial decision-making.

Where is the blistering assault on President Barack Obama’s strict rotation of blue or gray suits, some wondered. Why no exposés about current Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s penchant for Jos. A. Bank wear, prodded others. Hell, when have you ever taken note of a man’s appearance? (Oh, let’s see, just in the recent past there were musings about South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford’s shorts, North Carolina Republican Rep. Howard Coble’s blazer and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s sleeveless gear.)

Then, of course, there were the personal attacks.

Outraged peers and readers alike urged me to “suck a fat one” for polluting the politisphere with “Breitbart-level juvenile” “garbage” I presumably vomited onto my keyboard because I am “obviously a sexist douchebag.”

“Are you Claudia from the Babysitters Club, determined to never wear the same outfit? Do you burn your clothes the minute you take them off?” demanded one email interrogator. (No clue. Never read that series.)

“How would you like comments on your heritage or weight being relevant to your worth?” asked another. (Fair point.)

One of the most common questions was whether I have a power outfit of my own — a go-to ensemble reserved for job interviews and other high-profile outings.

The short answer is “no.” I have suits that I am loath to wear and a tux that provides cover during formal affairs. The rest of the time, I roam around in the randomly acquired T-shirts (concert swag, blood donations) and shorts I’ve owned since time immemorial.

But what I wrap myself in on a daily basis is immaterial here.

Just like whatever the Yale-educated economist whom POTUS wants to run our skittish banking system chooses to sport (faux rappers dug her bling) should be.

“For the record, @WARojas, we don’t care what women leaders WEAR. We care what they DO. Just like with the guys. Get it?” Sarah Littman rightly pointed out on Twitter. (I agree.)

Message received, America.

Perhaps I should leave all the fashion policing to the Joan Rivers and Tim Gunns of the world. (In a case of incredibly opportune timing, Gunn’s new “Project Beltway” column debuted in Politico Magazine this week.) Or, at the very least, to decorum-obsessed House Republicans.