18 February 2007

If I could style Eleanor Clift

If someone who didn't know me found my girl-crush list, most of the names on there wouldn't require much of an explanation. Jessica Biel, Monica Bellucci, Rita Hayworth, Scarlett Johansson, Vivien Leigh, Marisa Miller, Edie Sedgwick, Eva Mendes -- all make sense, right?

There is, however, one "huh?", and that question-mark is none other than political commentator and Newsweek contributing editor, Eleanor Clift.

I've been watching Montgomery Clift's former sister-in-law cage-battle Tony, Pat, and John every Sunday morning for years on "The McLaughlin Group," admiring her for her ability to without hesitation thoughtfully articulate in tidy two to three sentence bundles take on issues like China's overheating economy or the United States' role in the Six Party Talks. Condi, Hillary and my friend K come close, but I believe Eleanor to be the smartest woman inside the Beltway. And that's saying something given that I disagree with much of what comes out of her mouth.

If I could get my hands on Ms. Clift for an afternoon, after asking her in detail what it's like - what it's really like - to be inches away from Tony "slim-n-sassy" Blankley, I'd take her shopping for some updated, age-appropriate, figure-flattering clothes. At 66 years old and an established, honored member of the DC political scene, I don't expect nor do I advocate that Eleanor try to be fashion forward in the Manhattan sense. She's less a Nan Kempner than a Pamela Harriman, less a Pamela Harriman than a Nancy Pelosi, and less a Nancy Pelosi than, well, an Eleanor Clift. There's just no one like her. Deep respect for her mind aside, I would still like to see her shed the ribbed mock-necks, boxy navy pinstripe pantsuits and beige Naturalizer pumps and instead flatter her lanky frame with more stylish foundation pieces (i.e. ones that can seamlessly work into anyone's existing wardrobe).

Though Eleanor disarms her male counterparts just fine with her quick mind, why not double the impact in some hot Valentino trousers and bow-adorned L'Autre Chose ballerina flats?

Top to bottom:
1. Bubble-sleeve dress by Anne Klein ($380 at saks.com)
2. Pencil skirt by Anne Klein ($140 at nordstrom.com)
3. Stretch cotton pants by Valentino ($340 at saks.com)
4. Cuffed stretch trousers by INC ($79.99 at macys.com)
5. Geometric jacquard print skirt ($88 at anntaylor.com)
6. Rolled collar knit jacket ($1,025 at saks.com)
7. Santana purl coat by St. John ($1,595 at saks.com)
8. Tie-front jacket by Classiques Entier ($290 at nordstrom.com)
9. Nana tailored jacket by Theory ($360 at nordstrom.com)
10. Alva tailored pant by Theory ($240 at nordstrom.com)
11. Curved-yoke skirt by Calvin Klein ($108 at macys.com)
12. 4111 by Belle for Siegerson Morrison ($283.95 at zappos.com)
13. L7064 flats by L’Autre Chose ($274.95 at zappos.com)
14. Isabella pump by MaxStudio ($142.95 at zappos.com)
15. 673780 by Marc Jacobs ($353.95 at zappos.com)


Anonymous said...

you really should look into being a professional stylist. you'd think in DC there would be a HUGE demand to supply ratio for that kind of talent.

west coast devotee said...

I second that. You've shown your range (reasonably-priced to exorbitant, young to old, casual to formal), and proven your talent for this kind of thing time and again. With class, of course.

Go for it!

brown rowergirl said...

I didn't think it was possible to like St. John's unless you were over 50, but that coat is really extraordinary!

It also costs the better part of an entire month's rent, so...yeah, not gonna happen. Still, thanks for giving me something else to pine for!

normally impressed said...

Ugh, that collection is boring with a big fat capital "B".

I know she's 66, but still, come on, let's make her a little bit stylish.

Johanna said...

Really? You thought these clothes were boring?

I don't know where in the country you're from, but in these parts, those clothes are on the cutting edge of professional style. And here I was, thinking I was pushing the envelope for Ms. Clift! Just goes to show you can't please everyone, I guess.

In her line of work, at her age, and knowing her current style, I think the collection I suggested is spot-on. I wouldn't want her to have to replace her entire wardrobe with new items with which she may or not be completely comfortable. I probably should've included some new blouses or sweaters in there - something with a color punch - but maybe next time.

Thanks for reading, and I'm sorry you weren't impressed this time around.

Keep reading!