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Even Cain Suits Are ‘In Your Face Swagger’

Just when you thought the news media couldn’t be more laughable, we get this the Pulitzer Prize fashion critic Robin Givhan, who is now giving her deep insights to the Daily Beast:

Herman Cain’s Power Suit

The frontrunner’s double-breasted suits are sending the wrong message as he goes on the offensive against allegations of sexual harassment.

by Robin Givhan  | November 4, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been trying to shut down the unsavory story line that he sexually harassed at least two female co-workers while heading the National Restaurant Association from 1993 to 1996, by proclaiming that he was “falsely accused” …

You see, Mr. Cain couldn’t possible be falsely accused. He is just saying that to try to shut down this story line.

[A]nd suggesting that he’s the victim of a witch hunt, a liberal—or perhaps Republican—conspiracy, or some other kind of evil voodoo.

Ms. Givhan can make such racially tinged charges with impunity because she is a woman of color, albeit very light color.

What he has not done is make any evident attempt to consistently telegraph trustworthy, innocent, presidential or future-well-paid-pundit as cameras scrutinize his every glance and gesture

No other candidate on the Republican docket has demonstrated the kind of affection Cain has shown for the double-breasted suit—this menswear silhouette with its wide, peak lapels. He has favored six-on-two button suits in solid charcoal as well as those with subtle chalk stripes. To be sure, Cain’s suits are well cut and he has the stature to carry them. Still, they have always been a curious choice and they have now become ill-advised. He would do well to expunge every double-breasted suit from his wardrobe.

After all, anything with ‘breasted’ in its name must be sexist.

A double-breasted suit is more formal than a single-breasted oneBut in this more casual age—when the “suits” are feeling the rage of Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, and anyone who has helplessly watched the rapid decline of their 401(k)—Cain’s garb carries with it a sort of haughty swagger.

You see? Cain is provoking the Occupy Wall Street crowd – and even the Tea Party – by wearing double-breasted suits. (Who knew that he was so hated by the Tea Party?)

By the way, many believe that wearing a double breasted suit is slimming. A detail about which Ms. Givhan seems to be completely ignorant. And, mind you, she is supposed to be a fashion critic.

At first, the style seemed to play to his hustings sales pitch: He was the accomplished businessman who, while preaching tough love—or disdain—to the unemployed, assured voters that he could right this country’s finances if only given the opportunity. It’s a daring approach, as even Mitt Romney, who also sells himself as having a keen businessman’s insight on job creation, has been skittish about exuding suit-wearing bravado.

Huh? Romney hasn’t worn suits? We suspect Cain has gone suit-less at about the same rate Mr. Romney has.

But now, when it’s alleged that Cain wielded his executive power in a sexual and inappropriate way, that in-your-face, sartorial swagger reads in damning ways.

Remember, this woman is paid to write for the Daily Beast and Newsweek. (She used to write for the Washington Post.)

Ms. Givhan even won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the first such time for a fashion writer. The Pulitzer Committee explained its rationale by noting Givhan’s "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism."

Cain’s love of double-breasted suits also links him to religion.

Of course it does. As does the necktie, which is hated by the Muslim world as a sign of the cross. (Actually, this last part is true. Not that Ms. Givhan would ever be aware of it.)

He is an ordained Baptist preacher and a man with a habit of breaking out in gospel song at the slightest provocation.

Having sung once before (‘Imagine There’s No Pizza’) when he was still the CEO at Godfather’s, back in 1991 – twenty years ago. And then at the National Press Club, after having been requested to sing.

Ministers of a certain persuasion often seem to have a predilection for double-breasted suits, as well as three-piece ones. Some of that must surely be because of tradition and formality, but there is also an element of the hierarchal at work. Instead of choosing the most modest and humble of suits—a sack suit, perhaps—they opt for something more regal. The fancy suit distinguishes them from the mere congregants they lead. It gives them the appearance of clout, dignity, and righteous grandiosity.

Who knew this besides Ms. Givhan? (And what a perfect name, huh?)

But when a finery bedecked Cain turned a lectern into a (bully) pulpit by busting out a hymn, he sounded more self-righteous than meek.

Is she confusing Mr. Cain with the Reverend Wright? When has Ms. Givhan ever heard Herman Cain at a lectern?

Black politicians have always had a wider berth when it comes to attire. They often dress more formally to make their authority more evident in a society that might question it. And historically they have been allowed more pizzazz, more personal flair.

Again, Ms. Givhan can make accuse blacks of such stereotypical behavior because she claims to be black herself.

But Cain’s double-breasted suits don’t come with a creative flourish. They come with a standard yellow four-in-hand and an American flag pin perched on his left lapel. Sometimes he dons a ranger hat, which is about as imaginative as cowboy boots for affecting a down-home cool.

Which would seem to undercut all of Ms. Givhan’s previous claims about Cain dressing far too formally.

Cain describes himself as an unconventional candidate. His campaign organization certainly is unorthodox. But Cain wrapped himself in every sartorial cliché about authority, pecking order, and religiosity. Through his wardrobe, he positioned himself as the flamboyant boss man and the irreproachable believer.

Especially with the cowboy hat and boots.

But lately, as he dabs the sweat from his brow, the click-click-click of the cameras reveal that Cain has lost control of his message. That savvy, crafted image has turned on him. And far from defining him as an empty suit, it suggests he is one filled with both hubris and sanctimony.

Er, exactly who is the "one filled with both hubris and sanctimony" Ms. Givhan?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 7th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Even Cain Suits Are ‘In Your Face Swagger’”

  1. Astravogel says:

    I wonder if the lady would come fertilize
    my garden? She seems to be full of manure.

  2. proreason says:

    You can come up to the big-house now, Sally.

  3. artboyusa says:

    I am so voting for this guy…if our watchdog media ever let me get the chance – the purpose of this whole witch hunt of course being to make sure I don’t.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    Politico to Journolist: S***! All hands on deck! We need push polls! We need Gloria! We need a fashion critic, for Allah’s sake!

  5. jobeth says:

    Ok, now that the all knowing expert has spoken, I suppose he needs to go out and purchase a pair of denim overalls and a well used straw hat. Forget shoes, a proper ‘field hand” wouldn’t have them. Oh yeah, don’t forget the straw in the mouth.

    Guess then he would pass muster. Then Jesse Jackson can claim he is a victim and demand some sort of ‘gimme’ for him.

    Let me wake her up a bit though..even if this man did wear something ‘less formal’, he would still have more wisdom and authority in anything he says or does than she will ever have, or even dream to have.

    I know its hard for a lefty to believe, its not in what he wears…its his brain and common sense that people like, and how he gets it all done…without a flurry of meaningless convoluted wording and tail chasing.

  6. JohnMG says:

    …..”Cain wrapped himself in every sartorial cliché about authority, pecking order, and religiosity…..”

    I wonder what this twit would say if Cain appeared at the next debate sans clothing. If what he wears says all she purports, wearing nothing would undoubetedly leave her speechless.

    I don’t know what this camp-follower is smoking, but it has to be some reeeeaaaaalllly gooooooood sh!t.

  7. Astravogel says:

    Zip-ah-de-do-dah, zip-ah-de-a, my o’ my what a wonderful day…

    May bluebirds light on his shoulder…

  8. jobeth says:

    Thinking about this, got me laughing. The left must be really desperate. (of course they are…what am I saying lol)

    They accuse Cain of being unfit for the president’s office for (in their heads) doing something far less (and far more unprovable) than Clinton did…and is still doing…But somehow…Clinton’s brilliant, Cains unsuitable. Innuendos are all it takes to undo Cain, but stains on a dress?…well, let’s not get carried away here.

    And this stuff about the clothes…First it was Palin’s clothes were too “high class” for an Alaskan ‘back water’ nobody…even though she had nothing to do with the selections…but regardless…how dare she wear ‘too nice’ clothes. She should have worn her Dollar Store specials…so they could talk about how cheap she looked. (She looked smashing in her clothes…but she is so attractive I think she could have gotten by with the Dollar Store stuff anyway, much to their disappointment.)

    Then the Tea Party folks were all shown in the left wing media dressed in clothes that were far to good for demonstrators.(Said the shaky handed Pelosi) Therefore they must be ‘astroturf’ and their homemade signs were the proof (Whaa???) We goofed up. We should have worn urine soaked filthy jeans…like the mobs that are protesting today. By the way…what in the heck were we thinking anyway. We all went home at night! And cleaned up after ourselves…and didn’t require squads of police, like the REAL American protesters…that Obalmy backs.

    Now they are using the same old cry about Cain’s clothes…too nice…too authoritative. Can’t be for a blackman! He should know his place as a conservative black man and realized he is not entitled to wear nice or authoritative clothing. How can the left ever find something to get him on…oh yeah, doesn’t matter…damned if he does and damed if he doesn’t dress well.

    Come’on Lefties!…try for a little more originality than this. Its getting predictable and boring. Ok…its always been predictable and boring…but its getting toooo old now.

    • tranquil.night says:

      It’s probably hard to be creative when waking up every day is miserable.

      Plus, we’re granting that they have the necessary talents and intelligence to think in an arena beyond Middle School.

      Great memory Jo :)

    • jobeth says:

      @ TN :-D…Thanks

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