Lauding someone for their style on Capitol Hill is a lot like celebrating the best surfer on Florida’s Gulf Coast — it’s all relative, and some would argue irrelevant. Washington has never embraced fashion (nor, for that matter, has the fashion world embraced Washington), and for understandable reasons. In political circles, fashion is a loaded term, smacking of frivolity and vanity. . . .
But with the ascent of Nancy Pelosi, 66, widely recognized and admired for her Armani and easy fashion savvy, the days of the dowdy Washington dress code may be numbered. At least that is the hope of a number of women on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats, who see Mrs. Pelosi, the new speaker of the House, as a fashion leader, too.
It’s almost shocking how openly anti-feminist the press feels free to be about this kind of thing — I recall the intensive coverage of Condoleezza Rice’s footwear choices during her early days at Foggy Bottom (“look — a girl Secretary of State! what’ll be next?) with much this same tone. And, no, the knowing irony several paragraphs down doesn’t make it better.