hen you are fabulously wealthy, you probably spend money on things that others might consider inappropriate. That's perfectly fine. But when you are a politician's wife, and your husband is trying to appeal to the middle class, and you say something like, "I don't think of us as being wealthy," you open yourself up for a lot of critique. Welcome to Ann Romney's closet: after wearing a $990 shirt on television earlier this week, Romney caught a whole lot of heat.
On Tuesday morning, Ann Romney wore a very expensive blouse on CBS This Morning, and it's as if there was no interview at all; all the media talked about after her appearance was the shirt. Interestingly, the gyrfalcon, which is the bird on the shirt, is the world's largest falcon and is the mascot of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Maybe Ann Romney is just a big "Portlandia" fan and wanted to "put a bird on it."
Now, don't get us wrong, here. Plenty of politicians and their wives wear expensive clothes. It doesn't matter. But when you preach to the public that you don't think your family is rich, but then you wear a shirt that costs as much as some people's rent or mortgage payment, it's reasonable for people to be a little irked.
The shirt is designed by Reed Krakoff, who also turned the Coach brand into a $4 billion purse enterprise. But, lest you think Romney was wearing a sample and didn't pay for the shirt, Krakoff says he "100 percent didn't send" the shirt to her.
"We don't get involved politically," he said.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell devoted airtime to critiquing the shirt, as well, calling it "a really ugly t-shirt" (we won't disagree with that) and proclaiming that this is "yet another example of how out of touch the Romney family can be with how 99 percent of Americans live."
Some people disagree with the critique, calling on First Lady Michelle Obama. Nancy Pearlsein, owner of the high-end boutique Relish said, "If you look at what Michelle wears...a lot of her things cost that much, if not more. If you're going to start picking on people, you've got to go all the way around."
But the problem, again, isn't that she's wearing an expensive piece of clothing. It's that she does it time and time again, yet proclaims she is not wealthy. It's enough to make anyone skeptical.
Let's just be honest though: if you're going to wear a shirt that costs $1000, maybe try to pick something less conspicuous. Then again, maybe Romney is just a big fan of Portlandia and wanted to "put a bird on [herself]."
photo courtesy of CBS.