Theresa May's post election wardrobe: what does it mean?

18.6.17


We're over a week on from the results of the 2017 General Election. With no clear winner and a country unsure of what will come next, it has been for many, an election that we'd like to forget.

For Theresa May, the election was a huge gamble that didn't pay off. Whilst the majority of the discussion and post-election analysis has focused on leadership, strategy and the individuals involved, little has been written about May's post-election wardrobe and what her shift in appearance means.

Before polling day, we saw May embrace bold colours, patterns and prints, a visual sign of her confidence as a leader. Her bright red Amanda Wakeley suit made many appearances, and her shoes were as sparkly as ever. Switch to post 8th June, and May is swathed in tones of navy and white, the primary hues paired down to reflect her personal and public mood.



May's speech outside Downing Street on the 9th June was a bright spot in her post election wardrobe. She was still Prime Minister and the Conservatives were the largest party. To convey this, May displayed her party loyalty and determination as leader by wearing a bright blue skirt and jacket suit from British designer, Daniel Blake. The Orchid jacket and slim tailoring is an updated version of the typical power suit worn by Margaret Thatcher, the bold colour helping May to stand out from the crowd and redefine her power and position moving forward. Compared with May's sunny Amanda Wakeley outfit on her entry to Downing Street in July 2016, May's bright blue outfit is more traditional and eye-catching for perhaps different, confidence boosting reasons. Despite this visual change, May's support for British design remains strong and unwavering.


May returned to Amanda Wakeley for her first day back in the job of government, opting for a black and white printed jacket and trousers for meetings at No 10 and for an appearance at the 1922 Committee. And for her first foreign trip post election to Paris, May wore the Notch military style jacket by Daniel Blake- a clear focus on sharp tailoring and a public demonstration that she was back to business.



Over the past week we have seen May rely on her uniform of well loved pieces. In a time of immense political, social and personal stress, these items provide May with a sense of familiarity and confidence. We saw for example, May wearing a navy Amanda Wakeley dress, baby blue coat and the Balls necklace from Mirta Bijoux for her attendance at the swearing in of all Members of Parliament. Toeing the party line, this outfit is a repeat, and one which provides memories of a happier time when May took the mantle of Prime Minister in July 2016.

Basic in their silhouette and palette, May has embraced the 'back to basics' look over the past seven days, conveying a reassessment of her leadership and her future as Prime Minister. Clothes are not just a frivolous subject, often confined to the style section of newspapers or subject for discussion on blogs like mine. The personal projection image has a profound impact on our public officials, and as we've seen with Theresa May, her image and choice of clothes have changed since the monumental results of the General Election.

Perhaps we are now seeing the real Theresa May through her choice of clothes. A woman of simple things, straight talking, and with a vision for getting the job done. An honest and real human being like us all.
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