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Feminspire | April 17, 2014

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The Fashion of British Politics

The Fashion of British Politics

New exciting developments in technology mean that I now have eyeballs in all the laptops in the world, and I can currently see what you’re wearing. You may not know this but one of my nicknames is Lady-Style-Seer, due to my freaky ability to read minds via outfit analyses. Your white cotton sundress, for example, tells me that you one day dream of opening a cheese shop. Your red tights give away your love for crime fiction. I won’t say what your nail varnish reveals, as it is very rude and might make you blush. My point is: a person’s clothes can offer you juicy insights into their life.

If you listen carefully, you can probably hear the drone of white male politicians telling lies in the UK. When I’m not listening to all the parliamentary chin-wagging, I’m being coerced into talking about the conferences with my peers. Because talking about politics with people that don’t agree with you can be exhausting, I’ve evolved a politics radar that operates via clothes. You see, I can sniff out a Tory from the cut of their trouser. I can spot a Leftie through the way they tie their shoelaces. I can even point out a Greenie by the shape of their pockets. Because I care about you, I’m going to pass on these invaluable skills. After all, you don’t want to be on a hot date where the guy announces halfway through that he hates ‘stuck-up, lesbian feminists’. And then makes you pay for dinner. You don’t want to bond with a girl who then refuses to hang out with your gay friend because it ‘makes me feel really awkward’.

Avoid these nightmare scenarios by consulting my genius guide below.

The Labour Party

I grew up in a middle-class, left-wing, guardian-reading, organic-eating part of London where the yummy mummies could always be found at the farmers market jealously comparing handbags. Because of this, I believed there was no clash between being a lefty and a fashion connoisseur. Alas, I now see that I was mistaken. The raw capitalism of the clothing industry has caused some Labour voters to run screaming to the nearest vegetarian clothes shop, where they adorn themselves in gender-neutral fair-trade outfits fashioned made out of woven dry hay. Take that off before you get eaten by a cow, is what I warn, but that is just my shallowness speaking. Don’t listen to it.

The other fashion street that the lefties go down is known as ‘alternative’. Five or more piercings and they’re most definitely anti-Tory. In fact, any excess of accessories is typical leftist. I reckon it’s something to do with Labours economic system, which basically follows the guideline of don’t be stingy. I actually wrote to Ed Miliband telling him that if he would only add a silk scarf to his usual suit, people would stop calling him boring and start believing in his leadership abilities. I’m hoping he’ll write back soon offering me the job of personal stylist.

The Conservative Party

It would be very easy to spout the stereotype that Tories have no fashion sense and wear ill fitting crappy suits and the occasional midi heel, but this would be untruthful. In a tragic twist of events, fashion has become right wing. The hailed colour of the season is blue, the Thatcherite shoulder pad is now officially cool, and the minimalistic approach to accessories represents fiscal policy. It’s obvious what’s going on here: David Cameron is bribing the fashion industry. The whole trouser suit trend is clearly a way of him trying to trick women into thinking they’re empowered, when actually all their rights and benefits are being whipped out from under their noses. I jest, of course, but if we learnt anything from the News of the World scandal it is that the right wing government has a disproportionate amount of control over the media.  So the middle class female Tory will be fashionable in a very generic manner. She will have nice makeup and expensive taste. If the Tory male is middle or working class, then he will be terrified of wearing anything remotely fashionable in case it makes him appear effeminate.

None of this applies to the upper class. The creative upper classes all look left wing, but they very rarely are. Take Vivienne Westwood, for example. Her clothes scream punkish rebellion, yet her political attitude is far from progressive.

The Liberal Democrats

A Lib Dem politician dresses like a Tory, only with a feather in their hat. The feather represents a yearning to fly away from the politics that have brutally ruined them. Once upon a time a vote for the Lib Dems was a protest vote. Now it is simply a confused vote. Because of this, supporters of the party will look a bit out of sorts.

To help you understand the wardrobe of the middling supporter, allow me to take you through a hypothetical scenario. You are in primary school, and your best friend has offered to buy you a chocolate bar because you didn’t get any pocket money that week. Then they befriended the playground bully, who took the chocolate bar off your friend, despite having enough money to buy their own. Your best friend continues to hang out with the bully for a while, before realising that they miss you. You decide to meet them and say that you have forgiven them. What do you wear for this meeting? And there we go, that’s the outfit of someone who votes of the Liberal Democrats!

I have no more patience to give a paragraph on the rest of the parties. Besides, they’re all pretty obvious, aren’t they? A BNP supporter will wear tweed and carry a shotgun. Someone that votes Green will wear flowers in their hair. A fan of the Monster Raving Loony party with look like a monstrous raving loony. You’ve a clever little thing, you’ll figure out. And remember, think carefully when getting dressed tomorrow morning. You may be revealing all sorts of secrets about yourself!

Written by Phoebe Eccles