Seize the style: How Theresa May is redefining political fashion

5.10.16

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Conference season has come to an end with all of the UK's political parties holding their annual meet-ups. Recent attention has been on the Conservative Party, and Theresa May who ended her first conference as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister earlier today.

The big issues of Brexit, the economy and welfare were rightly front and centre at conference. But delegates and the wider country were interested in May's personal side, and in particular, her interest in fashion. It's no secret that the PM is interested in clothes and her love of style is giving this blog plenty to write about.


The subject of female politicians and their wardrobe choices has always been a topic of controversy. Some say it is sexist to focus on what a woman is wearing whilst others like myself see the selection of clothes as an important part of crafting an image.

Theresa May is redefining political fashion and shaking up what is perceived as the 'typical female politician' look. What Thatcher did for the structured handbag and bow blouses, May is doing for the statement shoe and bold necklace. Her style is relaxed yet assured- the dark jeans worn on her 60th birthday, the two piece skirt suit and Russell & Bromley heels and the familiar aubergine Escada dress all demonstrate a leader with confidence and purpose. There will be no brash neon jackets or badly tailored suits here!


May isn't afraid to take risks with her sartorial selections and she knocked it out of the park with her choice of a structured black Paule Ka jacket, canary yellow belt and silver toed loafers from Russell & Bromley. Confident and bold, these choices reaffirm May's leadership style and the absence of any fear in her professional and personal approach.



May is interesting because she takes risks in her wardrobe and in the UK, we've not seen this in a female politician leader before. Too often our female politicians run for the stereotypical suit, a cookie cutter piece taken off the hanger void of personality. It gives nothing away about the leader and can perhaps be part of the reason why we know and think so little about our politicians. May's clothes convey the mood of the situation- the navy and neon Amanda Wakeley dress and long jacket a sign of optimistic change and the the sharp and subtle lines of an oatmeal tweed jacket conveying the seriousness attitude of leadership.

Whether you love hearing about Theresa May's shoes or want the style reporting to stop, throughout her premiership, the interest in her style selections will remain high. May is inspiring professional women to take risks in their wardrobes, and encouraging women in their 60s to not reach for the generic comfort clothing just yet. From these Vivacious courts to statement accessories, Theresa May is redefining political fashion and rewriting what it means to be a woman in politics.

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