How to spend $150,000 just like Sarah Palin.

Women writing about politics, etc.
Oct. 22 2008 7:53 PM

My Saks Shopping Spree

How to spend $150,000 just like Sarah Palin.

On Wednesday, we learned from Politico that the Republican National Committee had spent $150,000 on clothes and accessories to outfit Sarah Palin and her family. Whoa, I thought. Now that is a whole lot of flag pins. So, what kind of campaign duds would a cool 150 grand actually buy you? To find out, I headed over to Saks Fifth Avenue—one of several high-end department stores where Palin has shopped since John McCain tapped her as his running mate.

Suits and separates 

A raspberry collarless suit from St. John. Click image to expand.
A raspberry collarless suit by St. John

I've never had a job that required me to dress up. The last time I bought a suit, I think, I was getting ready for a high-school speech and debate tournament. So here was my chance to finally put together a fantasy grown-up wardrobe. If I were running for vice president, as Palin is, I figured I would need a lot of smart-looking separates to get me through the endless rounds of rallies, town-hall meetings, and photo ops. Flush with all my make-believe cash (no, Slate does not have a clothing expense account), I headed straight for the Saks section dedicated to Escada, the swanky brand favored by both Palin and Cindy McCain. There I found several campaign-appropriate blazers in the bright jewel tones Palin likes so much: I happily put a red one, a checked one, an orange one, and a purple one into my, sadly, still-imaginary shopping bag along with a few matching skirts. I fell in love with a kelly-green, two-button suede jacket. And then I looked at the price tag—$4,550, or about four months' rent for my tiny studio in Brooklyn, N.Y. But today I am Sarah Palin! I reminded myself. Think how nicely that bright color would show off my fresh, outdoorsy complexion. I added it to the list and then high-tailed it to another boutique, sensing that my grad-student-giveaway messenger bag and beat-up sneakers were starting to attract too much attention from the saleswomen.

A selection of outfits from Akris Punto. Click image to expand.
Akris Punto fashions

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 30 2014 1:23 PM What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Writing Better? An Interview with Steven Pinker.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.