With Her Legs, Palin Didn't Need a Makeover

All you need to know is that there is one overriding principle for the camera -- the simpler you keep the clothes, the better.
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So, just when I'd hoped Sarah Palin would disappear from public consciousness, it seems we can't get rid of the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate. She's everywhere and so too is the ongoing controversy over her ultra-expensive Hollywood style "make-over". This weekend New York Times revealed details of the $165,000 the Republican party had spent on three stylists for Palin, in addition to $150,000 already reportedly spent on clothes. It's now claimed, even more was spent than that. Palin, 44, through a spokesperson, has claimed she was "appalled" at the expense. The clothes are being given to charity.

I read all this and thought - GOP: here's a few things you need to know about makeovers and stylists.

1) Alas, but true, we women do need a hair stylist and a make-up artist for TV. If you can find one person who does both then great but even TV networks usually have different artists for on-air talent, since different skill-sets are required. We shouldn't knock the expense spent on that. I have no doubt Hillary Clinton didn't set foot on the campaign trail without a hair stylist and make-up artist in tow. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that if you do end up on TV, with your hair unstyled, it looks like a birds nest, wisps everywhere. And if you have no make up, then under the lights, you look not like yourself, but a shining sheet-white female Edward Scissorhands. It's very distracting from what you are trying to say.

2) The clothes: you do NOT need a stylist nor to spend insane amounts of money especially if you have a decent figure, which Sarah Palin does. All you need to know is that there is one overriding principle for the camera: the simpler you keep the clothes, the better. A floral print, stripes or check may look wonderful in real life. Absolutely not in photographs or on television. Just look at the Oscars. The women who look the best are always the ones who stick to one color and who keep the shape as simple as possible. It's when they get adventurous, the results are disastrous. Remember, Bjork as the swan, anyone? Or Lara Flynn Boyle's tutu experiment?

So, for Palin, of course, the irony is that dressing conservatively should have been easy. A few pencil skirts (she has great legs) fitted jackets, or a knit dress or two, simple accessories and she'd have been fine - far better, in fact that Cindy McCain, whose ridiculously over-the-top designer wardrobe reminded me of the clothes that used to be worn by the character of the rich, isolated Krystle Carrington, played by Linda Evans in the TV series, Dynasty. They did not say "woman of the people." No wonder the Republicans got trounced.

This article was originally published by the London Evening Standard

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