Jan 13, 2006

The Alitos: Their clothes are as boring as they are

Robin Givhan finds Mr. and Mrs. Alito's attire mostly inoffensive--and that's OK.
There was nothing particularly fashionable about her clothes -- not in the sense that they reflected some contemporary trend. But they were familiar and reassuring because they are the sort of clothes that populate office complexes, PTA meetings and the closets of many a working mother.

But Givhan can't resist getting in a few digs, as well.
There was something charmingly awkward about her blue cardigan. A cable-knit cardigan! At a Senate hearing! The sweater has all those connotations of Dan Rather informality, softness, ease and grandmotherly coziness. It is the antithesis of power and strength. The sweater was also baby blue. That isn't clothing as armor, but clothing as security blanket. Remember Linus?

It was as though the nominee's wife had quietly brought her own binky into the room. But then, who couldn't use a little comfort during such a public ordeal?

Her gold tweed suit might have passed without much commentary -- save for the fabric's similarity to the upholstery that once covered La-Z-Boys. But then some committee members pressed her husband on his relationship with Concerned Alumni of Princeton, an organization notable for its displeasure over the admittance of women and minorities to the university. Martha-Ann Alito's face crumpled into a pained frown and she began to cry. She was swaddled in gold tweed.

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