Monday, May 16, 2011

May 15, 2011

Amy Walter
Mel: I was going to say that Amy Walter is really going for the Rachel Maddow look here, but a bit of research indicates that Amy Walter is actually older, and it looks like she's been identified with this hairstyle for quite a while, too, so I don't know which really came first.  Either way, Rachel Maddow isn't a bad style icon if you're a female making the pundit rounds, and I think this is a good look.  The suit is feminine without being frilly (the latter can easily go wrong), and I think the black adds a nice contrast.

Adam: Yeah, I'm liking the jacket, shirt, Maddow combo too. Subtle pinstripes work well here. Nicely done.

Spencer:  The hair and smile say, "I'm an adorable pixie from a fantasyland full of gumdrops and sugar plums."  But the suit is all business.  I'm loving it. 

Christiane Amanpour
Adam: Jumping Jehoshaphat. Yeah I said it. I mean, This Week can afford wardrobe experts for its #1 Sunday host, right? My guess is they've long since given up. "Let Christiane be Christiane" they tell their friends (because she won't give them any other choice.) Okay, first off, the jacket. Never mind the half-collar, half-no-collar. While, after weeks of carefully monitoring her ever-evolving jacket situation I doubt it's an accident, I'm just going to let that slide. The color is, like, mud brown. Terrible. And then she's got the gall to put on that ugly green shirt underneath. Maybe if she were cataloging communication patterns of gorillas in the jungle for nine or ten years, this would be okay. But no. It's a blight on human civilization. Lastly, what's up with the shoulder pads?? Dear lord. Is she going up against M. Bison in Round 3 or something?

Spencer: First things first, Adam.  You had to Google the proper spelling of "Jehosaphat," didn't you?  Moving on to Ms. Amanpour ... I actually don't mind the color scheme here.  What I can't forgive is the shoulder pads.  Look, Christiane, I know you like to spend your weekends watching old reruns of "Designing Women" on Nick-at-Nite (starring the incomparable Delta Burke), but just because those women claim to be designers doesn't mean you have to imitate their fashion sense.  Seriously, shoulder pads died out with jellies, Hypercolor t-shirts, and the phrase, "Dukakis Administration."  Get with the times. 

Mel: I agree with both of you - this looks like she's out on some sort of '80s safari.  I don't like the color scheme, either.  Initially, I wanted to say something like, "Oh, Christiane, being a serious reporter doesn't mean that you can't be fashionable" but I feel like that would imply that she's wearing something frumpy because she's so bookish and busy that she can't be bothered to worry about clothes.  I don't think that this is the case.  This is not to imply that she isn't bookish or busy - I'm sure she's both, and I think she does a great hosting job - it does look like she's actually trying, though.  She wearing clothes that fit, and that have a lot of detail - she's just choosing ones that don't work well for her.  It seems as though this could be a matter of taste rather than a matter of interest.  We could be in for a long ride here.

Cokie Roberts
Mel: I like the suit, the silk shell, and the necklace, but it is a lot of gray.  Ms. Roberts clearly recognized a need for a pop of color, and I agree with her instinct, but I'm torn on the execution.  I think ultimately I'll give this to her - the flower is a little bit on the huge side, and the trend of silk flower pins ended about ten years ago, but I don't think Cokie was trying to be trendy.  Moreover, it adds a nice seasonal touch of color that complements her and the outfit quite well, and, finally, if anyone can pull off wearing huge silk flower pins, I feel like it's southerners, of which Ms. Roberts is one.  I think this is a little like my Mike Murphy call from last week - it's a whimsical look that isn't for everyone, or necessarily for every day, but I think it looks good here.

Adam: While the flower is just borderline ridiculous, I'm not going to insult Ms. Roberts by comparing this to my own take on Mike Murphy last week. Murphy mistook a gag gift that someone actually meant to give Tucker Carlson for something that could reasonably be worn out in public. This is better. I'm liking the suit, silk, and necklace too.

David Gregory
Spencer: I actually like what David's doing this week.  It's a bit heavy on the pinstripes (tough to tell in the screencap, but both the suit and shirt have narrow pinstripes).  But I think he pulls it off with class and dignity.  Which is more than I can say for Newt Gingrich's interview.

Adam: Booooooooring. Sorry David. The magic's gone.

Mel: I like this.  I never noticed David Gregory dressed so well until we started this blog, but I have yet to find a problem.  He wears well-tailored suits, and seems to know what colors work for him.

Nikki Haley
Adam: To wear a pale yellow jacket, or not to wear it? Governor Haley chose poorly. (She also managed to say absolutely nothing except South Carolina is awesome for a solid 10 minutes, so she must be a decent politician. But that's for a different blog.)

Spencer: It's nice to see that the "Bee Girl" from the Blind Melon video grew up and found a successful career in politics.

Mel: I don't think pastels work well on her, but I'll give her a pass because she's clearly still excited about the Royal Wedding, wearing a Queen Elizabeth-inspired suit.  Since the bin Laden news trumped the Royal Wedding for a while, I think it's still timely.  Too bad it isn't flattering.

Peggy Noonan 

Adam: E.J. Dionne is his classic, shlubby self. Pretty sure he closed his eyes and picked out that shirt, tie, and jacket combo at random. Ms. Noonan on the other hand... the force is strong with this one. And I'm not saying that because she looks good. She does not. I'm saying that because she looks like Ewan McGregor in one of the last few Star Wars movies. Oh, and she talks like she thinks she's Yoda. 

Spencer: You can't tell from this shot, but E.J.'s tie has little pink and white stick figure men on it.  It's either a daring statement in favor of straight-gay relations, or just a damn ugly tie.  As for Ms. Noonan, I'm just impressed that she's able to dress herself.  Sometimes that's hard for "special" people.  

Mel: I like her outfit, and it looks even better on the close-ups.  The jewelry looks good, and I like the little sparkle in the shawl.  They're like a thousand points of light.  But seriously, I think it works for her.  Maybe a little casual for this venue, but it looks better on the close-up. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 8, 2011

Condoleezza Rice

Mel: I don’t know, if it were me, and I were a former Bush Administration official going on TV to talk about my boss’s successor taking down Osama bin Laden, I’d be going out of my way to project confidence and competence.  Apparently, Condoleezza Rice does not feel this way, because this jacket makes her look like someone who I wouldn’t trust to make decisions in a Macy’s, let alone the Situation Room.

Spencer: It looks like Condi has plans to meet Dubya for dinner at the local Applebee's after this interview.  I've always respected Secretary Rice, but that's before I knew that she dresses like a suburban soccer mom on date night when she's out of the office.  

Adam: I think she accidentally walked into Bob Ross’s studio, knocked over his canvass, and the dude just found a way to keep right on painting. God bless that man.

Christiane Amanpour
Mel:  Oh no – it’s back.  This time, Christiane pairs the biker professor jacket with a dress shirt and silver accessories.  As much as I didn’t like the gold accessories and pink shell from the first time we saw this blazer, I feel that this is much worse.  The earrings are too much, and so is the shirt.  I appreciate that she wears her suits more than once, in theory, but not when they shouldn’t have been worn in the first place. 

Spencer: I'm going to revisit the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry's girlfriend keeps wearing the same dress.  Does Amanpour have a closet full of identical leather/tweed jackets, like Superman?  Or did we simply catch her at the same point in her laundry rotation?  You'd think she'd change up the batting order to avoid this; it's been, what, three weeks since we saw this?  But more importantly, is this the smoking gun that proves that she chooses her own clothes on This Week?  After all, no professional stylist would allow her to wear the same thing only three episodes apart, would they?  

Adam: Christiane, what part of “except the earrings” did you NOT get on April 10th? I didn’t know it was physically possible, but these are somehow even worse! Now you’re just trying to shoot the moon or something, right?

David Gregory
Spencer: Mr. Gregory, I've mocked you relentlessly the past few weeks.  But all is forgiven today.  I'm loving the orange tie as summer sets in, and the pocket square adds a subtle splash of class.  Simple.  Bold.  Effective.

Mel: I am a huge fan of orange.  It's an underrated and under-used color.  It can take a little work to pull it off, but I think he does a decent job here.  Also, nice suit.

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Adam: I like this. She reminds me of a stereotypical 1950s social studies teacher that I just invented. Would’ve gone with no necklace rather than that monstrosity, though. Yeesh.

Spencer: I feel like I should recuse myself from criticizing Ms. Goodwin, as she is a notorious Boston Red Sox fan.  As such, she can wear any necklace she likes so long as it raises Carl Crawford's batting average.

Elisabeth Bumiller

Adam: Bumiller, are you going on safari or something? If so, then you need some sort of hat, or this will look really, really silly.  

Spencer: If that thing were a couple of shades away, she'd need a curious monkey for a sidekick.
Helene Cooper
Mel: I'm addressing Bumiller and Cooper together: is there a new dress code at The New York Times that could be described as “DIY business jumpsuit?”  Neither of these are that terrible, but it seems a strange coincidence that both of the Times ladies are wearing color-coordinated pantsuit-and-shell combos.   I guess at least it adds an interesting component to what are pretty boring outfits.
Katty Kay
Mel: Katty Kay isn’t wearing something shiny, and I think that is great. 

Spencer: You can't go wrong with red.  Bonus points for finding a successful career in journalism when your parents clearly named you with the exotic dancing industry in mind.  
Adam: I miss the shiny stuff. Bring it back! (I like shiny things.)

Mike Murphy

Spencer: I've been saving up all my mean today for Mike Murphy.  What the hell, Mike?  First of all, you're neither qualified nor good looking enough to replace Heath Ledger as The Joker in the "Dark Knight" sequel.  Secondly, let me say a few words about bow ties.  Actually, I better not, as this is a family blog.   

Mel: This makes me happy.  I know that I shouldn’t like the bow tie, but somehow I think he totally pulls this off, and it makes me smile.  He’s not the kind of guy that wears a bow tie every day on principle, and it doesn’t look like he's wearing a bow tie to wear a bow tie, like it’s some sort of joke, or like he's trying to be endearingly quaint.  It looks like he actually took it seriously, thought about the color, chose a nice tie, and I think he really makes this work.  This may well be the only bow tie ensemble I’ve ever liked.  That said, if he starts doing it every week, he risks becoming the guy that always wears bow ties and it loses its whimsical quality.  So, good job, Mike – but use this sparingly.  

Adam: Who does he look like? I’m pretty sure it’s a cross between the Toyman (One of Superman’s top enemies, believe it or not) and the Riddler, Also, love the Sally Jesse shades, Mike.  You’re like twinsies
Spencer: Any time an outfit sparks not one, but two separate comic book themed-jokes, it's bad by definition.  Oh, and Mel -- you're dead to me now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 24, 2011

Anita Dunn
Adam: Oh man, I really don't know where to start. I mean, I get the whole easter egg theme, but that doesn't mean you have to dress like one.

Spencer: Are you talking about her clothes, or just the shape of her head?  I kid, I kid.  And I know you're knocking the color, Adam, but it seems clear to me that she's just trying to match the Meet The Press sign over her shoulder.

Mel: I think that this color totally washes her out.  I have a hard time wearing pastels, too, but that’s why I don’t go on the Sunday shows during Easter weekend.  Seriously, though, a number of other panelists skipped the pastel - to be fair, not always in a good way - but I think there would’ve been other options for bringing some Easter spirit without wearing something so muted. 

Christiane Amanpour
Adam: In all my two weeks as an amateur Sunday political show fashion blogger, I have never seen such a smart outfit on Ms. Amanpour. The jacket, the shirt, the lapel microphone – all of it classy yet modern. Well done, Christiane. 

Spencer: This is an improvement on the past two weeks.  I have nothing snarky to say.  Which angers me.  I don't watch "The McLaughlin Group" for calm, reasoned analysis, and I don't watch "This Week" for the clothes.  I expect train wrecks on both counts.  Don't disappoint me like this again, Ms. Amanpour.  

Mel: This actually looks good in the screencap.  There was a full-body view early on, but luckily for Christiane, it wasn’t available online, so I couldn’t put it up here.  There was a belt issue and I don’t really like how this shirt fits with a suit, but, that said, this is still a huge improvement over weeks past.  It’s kind of a return to her previous, more masculine looking wardrobe, which I was never a fan of, but, as established over the last couple of shows, more feminine does not necessarily mean better.  I’d still like to see some more attempts at finding a good style for her, but I understand if they want to take the holiday off.  For a blazer and collared white shirt, this isn’t bad.  

David Brooks

Spencer:  David Brooks is the quintessential moderate conservative.  Nothing too daring, nothing too extreme; just mindless, boring centrism that, while appealing to no one, won’t really offend anyone either.  Apparently he doesn’t limit that attitude to his columns.  I see nothing wrong with anything he’s wearing here – but I see nothing particularly right with it either.  Navy suit.  Light blue shirt.  Solid, pinkish tie.  Normally, I’d criticize such uninspired choices, but I’m just too bored to get passionate about it.  Which is probably exactly what Brooks is shooting for.

Adam: YAAAWWWWNN. You suck, Brooks. And by that I mean, yeah, I agree with Spencer. Give us something to work with here! Pawlenty used to be all moderate conservative too -- AND he had a mullet. Just saying what I’ve been saying for at least 15 years now – pay more attention to circa 2007 Tim Pawlenty. kthxbye

Mel: This is fairly boring.  My first instinct was that it was at least a thoughtful boring, as opposed to regular boring, which is defaulting to the standard blue or dull red tie that doesn’t even complement the wearer that much, but on second glance, all I can focus on is how shiny his clothes are.  Anyone who’s ever watched me watch The Chris Matthews Show knows that I am not a particular fan of shiny ensembles (Katty Kay, I’m talking about you).  Even his shirt somehow looks shiny.  This may be due to the lighting, so I’ll give him a pass for now, but he’s on notice.   

David Gregory

Adam: Wow, I really like all this, David. In fact, I like it almost as much as the last time I saw it … when it was on Jon Meacham just a week ago on your own damn show. Oh dang. Did I just blow your mind?! (Okay, the tint is slightly different, but whatever. I just owned you.)

Mel: Ha, nice call, Adam.  Well, if you’re going to imitate an outfit, I think that one was a good choice. Nicely done, David Gregory.  These colors look good on you, and the gray suit and pastel pink tie also seem very Easter-appropriate.   

Spencer: It's hard to tell from this screen shot, but I saw MTP on my 42" hi-def today, and trust me -- that tie is a disaster.  It looks like the upholstery from a couch in a cheap hotel lounge.  Still, it's David's best showing in three weeks.

Eugene Robinson

Spencer: Now, if I just described Eugene Robinson’s outfit – navy suit, white shirt, solid pink tie – you’d probably think there’s little distance between him and David Brooks.  So why does Robinson pull it off so much better?  Start with the tie.  It’s a brighter pink, and matched against the white shirt, it shines. Then check out the knot.  It’s bold, fat, proud – whereas Brooks’s wimpy knot seems like it’s trying to hide behind his collar.  Then compare their glasses.  Hipster beats wire rim every time.  If Robinson’s goal here was to beat Brooks at his own game, I just wish he’d slapped his Pulitzer down on the table for good measure. 
Mel: Agree with Spencer.  I know this is seemingly similar to Brooks’ ensemble, which I thought was slightly boring, but I really like this.  For me, it’s all about the brightness of the tie.  It’s a great color on him, and in the spring spirit.  As Spencer points out, he also picks up some style points with the knot of his tie and the hipster glasses.     

Kent Conrad
Mel:  I like the tie.  As far as the jacket, I feel like I should have more of a problem with it than I do, but you know what?  He’s from North Dakota.  I feel like if I were from North Dakota, this would be what my Sunday best looked like, too.  It seems like it fits.  If it were way more offensive, I might not let it slide, but it’s not that bad, and the worst that I could probably say about it if it were anyone else is, “It makes him look like he’s from North Dakota.”  And since Kent Conrad is, hey, it all works out.  That was easy.

Adam: Yeah, I’m not quite so forgiving. (For what it’s worth, I also think that anyone who calls soda “pop” is objectively wrong. You know who you are.) It’s not the worst plaid suit I can imagine, but I can imagine some stupid, ridiculous stuff. What might’ve looked better? How about anything without horizontal stripes. Future Jack Donaghy’s suit was better than this. Survey says X. 

Spencer:  Plaid?  We're really debating whether plaid makes the cut? I don't recall anyone in "Fargo" looking like a tic-tac-toe board.  That suit belongs in a woodchipper, don'tcha know?

Tom Coburn

Spencer: If Darth Vader ever takes an office job, I’m pretty sure he’ll be stealing this look.  In fact, if Coburn’s missing anything, it’s the mask. At least it would cover up that frown.  (Actually, the Darth Vader comparison may be apt for another reason, which is that Coburn took today’s show as an opportunity to throw Emperor Palpatine – er, Grover Norquist – down a hole in a stunning act of betrayal.  I knew there was still good in you, Tom.  I knew it.)

Adam: Kneel before Coburn! (Sad thing is, that’s pretty much required under the Senate rules for the Majority to eat its morning Frosted Flakes, let alone pass a bill. ZING!) Also, that tie's stripes are a little too narrow for my tastes. Yeah, I said it.

Spencer: Actually, the way he keeps glaring at me, I'm kinda scared now.  All criticism retracted.  Lovely suit, Senator Coburn.  Just lovely.  <Whistling and quietly backing away ...> 

Mel: I like nothing about this.  It looks like it is both sloppy and uncomfortable at once.  I don’t like the tie colors, and I don’t like how thin the stripes are.  Also, he looks like Alex Trebek here, and, even though I love Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek annoys me in kind of an awesome way.  This outfit annoys me in an annoying way.   

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 17, 2011

Alan Greenspan
Mel: The ill-fitting brown (?) suit, baggy shirt, and burgundy tie make Greenspan look like the economics professor type of finance guy, not the corporate type (see Geithner below). While I have nothing against academia in general, it is one of the last places I’d go to for fashion advice. Mr. Greenspan, I realize that you announced today that you believe the Bush tax cuts should permanently expire, but I’d honestly be happy with you keeping yours until you can buy a nicer TV outfit. 

Adam: I think this outfit fits the whole Greenspan mystique. It says "I don't care anymore, and really never did" without being all in your face about it. I'd still like to see him stroll in with a Busted Tee and parachute pants just once, but hey, it's Alan friggin' Greenspan. Respect.

Mel: Adam, interesting take.  I’m intrigued.  If he did it as a “I’m Alan Greenspan – I do what I want (and I really want to wear sweatpants, but I’ll be gracious and just wear the suit equivalent)” move rather than putting thought into it, I completely respect that.  If he did put thought into it, I stand by my initial post.

Christiane Amanpour
 Adam: So, apparently April 17th was Turtle Day. Who knew? This means the necklace gets a free pass. But the shirt? Dear Lord, Christiane. How did you go from a bad-ass biker jacket last week to... this? What is it, abstract art? Wallpaper from the 1960s? Pictures of rotten eggs in various stages of decay? Seriously, has ABC News's wardrobe department just given up on you or are these choices some bizarre clause you insisted on in your contract, no doubt for diabolically conspiratorial reasons? America needs to know.

Mel: This picture doesn’t quite do justice to how unflattering this shirt is. Again, I like that they’re trying to move away from masculine-looking suit and shirt combos, but this has been a painful transformation, starting with last week’s pale pink shell paired with a leather and tweed suit, and continuing with this week’s executive pirate/corporate gypsy look. I think she looks her best when she’s on assignment, reporting live from the field, and presumably isn’t overthinking it. More of that, less puffy shirts.

Spencer: See, here's the problem with Amanpour.  We all know that she's really happier as a field reporter.  Think of her as the love child of Lois Lane and Indiana Jones.  So you put her in the studio and this is what you get.  Complete confusion.  

David Gregory

Spencer: Last week, Gregory managed to make purple look boring and weak.  Apparently, he listened.  I’m loving the color scheme here – navy suit paired with light blue tie, the classic white shirt and matching pocket square adding brightness and pop.  Strong.  Clean.  Confident.  Minor deduction for the pattern on the tie, but I’ve seen worse.

Mel: I like the tie. This all works.

Adam: Sure, sure, but that pocket square can go straight to H-E-doublehockeysticks. Excuse my English.

Spencer: Cut him some slack, Adam.  What's he supposed to do if, while lobbing irrelevant questions and softballs at Paul Ryan, he gets a runny noise?  If he's got a pocket square, problem solved.

Jennifer Granholm

Spencer:  Granholm could easily come off as bookish with those glasses and the color choice of her jacket.  But the broad, sweeping lapels add just the right contrast.  Instead, I think she comes off as dynamic and authoritative.  Too bad she ruins it by stealing David Gregory’s haircut.

Mel: Yeah, somehow she kind of pulls this off, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure her jacket is a recycled sofa from the 1970s. Seriously, it looks like velour or some kind of upholstery. The color also kind of reminds me of the uniforms that the girls from that girls' school in Harry Potter wore. I think it was in the Goblet of Fire – the one with the Tri-Wizard Tournament. (A little Google image-searching reveals that this is a different shade of blue, but whatever - it's what came to mind.)  Anyway, this is probably one of the rare instances where I can describe an outfit with wizards, velour, and upholstery, and it isn’t a negative review.

Jon Meacham
 Mel: I like this. Well-played. Classic. Hopefully, unlike Newsweek, a nice suit and a nice tie never go out of style.  I enjoyed the old Newsweek, and I enjoy this ensemble.

Adam: Yeah, I give this a big thumbs-up too. I also think that his Newsweek wasn't bad. It was America that just didn't live up to his standards. We'll try harder next time, Meacham, we swear -- just one more chance!

Spencer: I'm going to be the dissenting vote here.  Both Newsweek and this suit put me to sleep.  Also, the pinstripes clash with the strongly patterned tie.  I know you won the Pulitzer for your Andrew Jackson biography, so I'll try to put this delicately, Jon.  Andrew Jackson would beat you like a cross-eyed mule for this suit.

Tavis Smiley

Spencer:  File this one under the Department of Ironic Last Names.  If you watched the entirety of the MTP roundtable today, you’ll know that this picture is the closest that Tavis Smiley came to, um, smiling.  Honestly, he makes me so sad that it’s hard to concentrate on his fashion choices.  Turn that frown upside down, Tavis!

Mel: I don’t expect Tavis to smile all the time, and I have to say that I think he looks confident in this shot. I’m a fan of navy ties in general. I think he pulls off this look pretty well.

Adam: I'm not really sold on a navy tie with what looks like a charcoal black suit. Fail.

Spencer: Navy and black don't go together?  I may have to consult Esquire on this.

Tim Geithner
 Mel: This is pretty safe, but honestly, I think a Treasury Secretary in anything else would make me uneasy. He’s someone that looks like he’s been around his share of boardrooms, but not like he’s more concerned with style than substance. I think that’s fitting for Geithner in particular. I approve.

Adam: I like this, though maybe it wouldn't hurt if he sat up a little straighter. (Not that I'm his mom or anything. That would be highly improbable... or would it?!?!?) Other than that, boring works for me with this guy.

Spencer: It's good to see Josh Lyman's political career doing so well after his disgracefully brief tenure as Chief Of Staff to the Santos White House. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011

Christiane Amanpour

Spencer:  We start with Christiane Amanpour, who throws her hat into the ring early for the honor of Garment District 2011 LVP.  (That's "Least Valuable Player," for those who spend too much time watching CSPAN or E!, and not enough time watching ESPN).  Interviewing Obama Advisor David Plouffe on the budget fight, Christiane is doing her best to show that she doesn't take sides, by rocking a jacket that fuses both tweed and leather -- and gives us the worst of both worlds.  Seriously, Christiane, I know this is a week of compromise on the Hill.  But if the compromise is between London Fog and the Hell's Angels, maybe it's best to send this one back to committee.

Mel:  I actually don't have a huge problem with the texture of the jacket.  I don't love it, but I think I see where she was going for, and I appreciate the effort to feminize her style a bit.  My primary concern is the jewelry.  In addition to what you can see in the above, I believe she's also wearing a silver-and-gold watch, a silver ring, and a gold ring.  It's also a little hard to see, but I think I noticed some silver threading in her blazer.  It's too heavy, it clashes, and she may be one of those people who doesn't really look great in either silver or gold (I suffer from this affliction, personally).  Also, not loving the pastel pink shirt.  I think it might clash with the gold more than it clashes with the jacket, but, regardless, the whole look just doesn't come together for me.

Adam: I like it. All of it. Except the earrings - they're an unmitigated disaster. Like one that Christiane would typically be covering better than anyone else, getting interviews from nearby families on what happened and how the children, against all odds, plan to carry on even after getting a good look at them. Beyond that, Ghost Rider 2 called. Nicholas Cage out. Amanpour in. (I would totally watch this, and you would too.)
David Plouffe

Spencer: There's no forgiving that haircut.  But David Plouffe is a man who knows how to wear a suit.  Perhaps tipping his hat to the President's dislike for red-or-blue divisions, Plouffe made purple the centerpiece of his look on "This Week."  The strong diagonals of his tie stand out against the simple-but-sleek modern cut of his black suit, adding a sense of power and confidence.  Between the budget deal and the official announcement of Obama's re-election campaign, it was a big week for the Administration, and we can expect to see a lot more of Plouffe as the President shifts into campaign mode.  With that kind of visibility, we can be glad that Plouffe looks dressed to win.

Mel: I like the tie generally.  Not sure that I love it on him.  I think purple can be a tough color to pull off, both for men and women, and I don't know that he really does it, but I think it's a stylish tie. I give Plouffe credit for recognizing that, and for stepping outside of the DC comfort zone of blue and red ties.  It almost works, and, knowing that he makes his living understanding image and optics, I'd say this inspires confidence.

Adam: The jacket's seriously bugging me here. Is that olive or gray? Either way, with that shirt and tie combo I would've gone with deep black. [See: David Gregory]

Spencer: I'll second Mel's comment about politicians over-relying on blue and red ties.  Yawn.  This is something I plan to tear apart in upcoming weeks.  Sunday show guests: you've been warned. 
Donna Brazile 

Mel: While there's nothing overly offensive about the way this outfit is put together, I don't like the monochromatic color scheme, and I really don't think I like it in beige.  It's fine, but boring.  And not even normal boring, like if she'd worn that shirt with a black blazer.  Beige-on-beige is a special kind of boring, and I'm disappointed with this choice.  

Spencer: I'm gonna get Donna's back on this one.  I think it looks classic.  Maybe if those beads were purple, it might add a splash of contrast.  But I think she mostly pulls this off nicely.

Adam: I agree with Spencer on this. I vaguely recall her wearing some weird, weird stuff in past morning shows, but this is very professional. Thumbs up.
David Gregory

Mel: Interestingly, I think that David Gregory's purple tie presents the opposite purple situation of David Plouffe's.  It's like they're bizarro Davids.  (I don't even know if I'm using that correctly.  Adam?)  But whatever - they're opposites.  By that I mean that I think David Gregory pulls off the color better, but I don't think his tie is as bold of a style statement.  It's a pretty safe pick.  I have to admit that I haven't met the press yet (it's up next after I finish blogging), and I can't quite tell if it's just a plain tie or if it has a sort of watermarked-looking subtle pattern on it.  If it's the latter, there's potential for more boldness points, though this can go wrong as often as it ends up being successful.  Overall, I say it's fine.  Nothing special, but not awful.

Spencer: Totally agree with you, Mel -- David Gregory manages to make purple look boring.  It's a color that can look dynamic with the right framing (see David Plouffe above).  You know who would've worn this tie better?  Tim Russert.  (That's right -- I went there.  Guess Gregory can't fill Russert's tie, either, much less his shoes). 

Adam: Mel used bizarro correctly. This makes me happy. No other comment.
Rep. Paul Ryan

Spencer: GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan may be smiling like a retarded version of Kermit the Frog, but after the week he's had, who could blame him?  Perhaps drunk on all of the kudos he's received for his "courageous" budget plan (don't get me started), Ryan looks rather pleased with himself.  But while deficit hawks may be giving him a gold star, that's no excuse for the gold tie we see here.  I'm generally not a fan of metallic colored ties -- I thought we'd gotten over that during the whole Regis fad in the early 2000s -- and I see no reason to make an exception for Ryan.

Mel: Again, I haven't met the press yet, so I'm going purely off of this screencap and not off of having seen this ensemble in action, but I'm okay with this.  It looks like a nice suit, and I think the tie works with it.  Spencer, I agree - I don't think I really care for metallic ties generally, but he seems to pull it off, at least in this photo.  Also, I think I generally see gold-hued ties with darker blue shirts.  I don't know that that's a go-to combination for him personally, but, assuming it is, way to set a budget-cutting example, Chairman Ryan, shopping in your own closet and creating a new outfit by pairing your gold tie with a different shirt.

Adam: I think if the head of the Budget Committee added some big green dollar signs to his gold tie, it'd be the best thing ever.  
Jim Cramer

Spencer: God, I hate to do this.  I really do.  But I am BULLISH on JIM CRAMER!!!! A big BOO-YAH to the light blue shirt-and-time combo, which pop nicely against the charcoal grey suit.  Bonus points for diagonal stripes, which add an air of decisiveness that almost make you believe this man knows what he's talking about.  Cramer's fashion tips are probably more valuable than his stock tips at this point, so find value where you can and BUY BUY BUY this look!!!!!!

Mel: I'm not sure what Jim Cramer, the Chris Matthews of the finance world, is doing on the Sunday political shows (given that we already have Chris Matthews), but I'm about to find out after I finish blogging.  Actually, I take that back, and I'll agree with Spencer here: what he's doing is looking fairly stylish in a light, slate-colored suit and pastel tie that is completely appropriate for our first week of spring weather here in DC.  Definitely buying.  

Adam: Something really smart is going to come out of that head. With an outfit like that, what could possibly go wrong? (P.S. Buy Bear Stearns. For reals this time! Pinky swear.) 

So it begins.

Welcome to The Garment District, a blog started by four friends in Washington, DC with limited blogging experience and no fashion qualifications.  Our plan is to conduct a sort of fashion roundtable on the hosts and pundits appearing on the Sunday morning political talk shows.  We're planning to start out slow, primarily focusing on Meet the Press at first, with notable others, and we may add to this.  The format and layout will likely evolve over time, so bear with us.