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Angela Merkel's ninety shades of jackets: how casual style helps in politics



15 years ago Angela Merkel became the first woman to serve as Federal Chancellor of Germany. What role did the corporate identity play in her career?

Photo: Shutterstock

Angela Merkel ruled the country for 15 years. No woman has lasted longer in power in modern Europe. Over the years, she has managed to gain the respect of the German people and become one of the most powerful ladies in international politics. But despite her accomplishments, the Chancellor recently announced that she was leaving and would not run for another term.

“We need to turn a new page,” she said, commenting on her decision.

While the world community is wondering who will be her successor, we can look into the wardrobe of the German Chancellor and see how rather monotonous clothes add points to a conservative post.

"Iron Lady of Germany"

The large publishing house Daily Mail once aptly described the Chancellor's approach to his wardrobe: “Angela Merkel is a woman with a very specific sense of style. She knows what she likes and she likes what she knows. "

Photo Shoot: bundeskanzlerin / Instagram

Her business card is an emphasized careless attitude to her appearance. A short haircut that does not require styling, a permanent three-button jacket complete with straight trousers or a knee-length skirt and modest shoes with steady heels - this is the image of the Chancellor familiar to us. Analyzing the image of a politician, stylists often reproach her for a meager wardrobe and poor fit of suits. Indeed, looking at the first person of Germany, sometimes it seems as if her clothes were taken from someone else's shoulder.

Photo Shoot: bundeskanzlerin / Instagram

But in such "negligence" there is a curious message hidden. The world of politics still belongs to men. Even in progressive Germany, women sometimes have to fight against gender stereotypes and prove that they can seriously compete with their male colleagues. By her appearance, Merkel says: “I have more important things to do than fashion. First of all, I am the head of state - serious and collected. My gender doesn't matter. "

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The dryness and asexuality of the image is probably a deliberate fashion move. Women are often seen as an image of a wife and mother - too soft for big politics. When looking at Merkel, such associations do not arise. Before us is a first-class specialist, whose whole life is work for the good of the country.

Falling into expectations of the electorate

Her style is an exact reflection of who the Germans accustomed to order want to see in a leading position: a reliable specialist who will not throw out tricks. While this approach to style may seem boring, it works.

To reinforce the image of a conservative politician, Merkel rarely experiments with clothes. For years, she remains faithful to one style, changing only the colors of the suits. On the net you can find a comic collage "90 shades of Merkel", which contains almost identical jackets.

Photo Shoot: bundeskanzlerin / Instagram

The Chancellor is difficult to reproach for extravagance: she often appears in public in the same clothes. So, in 2014, her old cardigan was widely discussed in the press. Angela first appeared in it in 1996, then in 2002 and later in 2014. Then some journalists accused Merkel of being tight-fisted, but the Chancellor's supporters were able to turn the spicy situation into a plus.

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They noted that if Merkel were not a woman, this "mistake" would go unnoticed at all, because no one counts how many times male politicians appear in one suit. As a result, unpleasant publications were simply "washed away" by a stream of articles praising the Chancellor's rational approach to personal spending. The tight-fisted Germans appreciated frugality and once again saw that such a politician would definitely not steal the budget.

Merkel is a trendsetter

By chance, Angela Merkel was ahead of her time and became an icon of two new-fangled trends at once. Thanks to her dislike of fashion, she was at the origins of the now popular approach to shopping - conscious consumption. Adherents of this trend do not buy unnecessary unnecessary things, ignore fashion trends, knowing that they are fleeting, and spend money not on clothes, but on education and impressions.

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The second direction, behind which is also the shadow of Merkel, is a modern interpretation of the power dressing style popular in the eighties. Designers who create such clothes add elements of a male silhouette to a woman's suit. For example, exaggerate the shoulder line or add a wide lapel to jackets.

Screenshot: Monsieur Pascal / YouTube

Today, such models can be seen, for example, at the famous fashion house Balenciaga.

Screenshot: Balenciaga / YouTube

Angela Merkel is a unique example of how, thanks to intelligence and talent, you can become a style icon, even when you resist it. Let's see if her successor will be able to repeat the success.

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