A Brief History of Sarah Palin's Style

With viewers tuned into Palin's much-anticipated Oprah interview, Linda Hirshman explains the sexist double-standard at work over the fuss about the clothes the RNC bought her. Plus, view our gallery of Palin's fashion.



Prairie Chic

Sarah Palin (then Sarah Heath) plays the flute in the hopes of being chosen Miss Alaska in 1984. She was runner-up. Clearly the pageant judges missed Palin's star potential.

Lulu Larsen / Zuma Press

Matching Sunglasses

Campaigning for governor of Alaska.

Lulu Larsen / Zuma Press

At Home

Palin has displayed a life-long dedication to bangs.

Robert A. Baker / Getty Images

Say It Like It Is

Palin's in-your-face attitude was not merely an invention for the McCain campaign.

MAI / Landov

Born Fighting

Though these Army combat boots might not fit Palin's fashion sense, they reflect her campaigning style.

AP Photo

Oh Make Me Over

During the campaign, Politico reported that the McCain camp spent a whopping $150,000 to outfit Palin with threads from high-end department stores.

Getty Images; AP Photo (2)

Power Suits

Palin often highlighted her waist on the campaign trail. She also wore a service flag pin to honor her oldest son serving in Iraq.

At the Republican National Convention

Campaign finance reports showed that the Republican National Committee shelled out $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue to ensure that Palin, husband Todd, and their brood of children looked more appropriate for their newfound role in the spotlight.

AP Photo


Palin showed up to the much-anticipated vice presidential debate against Joe Biden in a pair of designer Kate Spade Karolina classic pumps in Ruby Crocco Patent print ($297.95). They're an upgrade from the red Naughty Monkey peep-toes she wore when McCain announced her as his running mate.

AP Photos

These Boots Were Made for Runnin' (for VP)

Adding some spice to the staid political attire more commonly seen on the campaign circuit, Palin wasn't afraid to be fashion forward. During her campaign blitz, the governor from Alaska strode across the tarmac on her way to a Maine campaign stop in a swank pair of Cole Haan boots ($400), the likes Washington would likely raise an eyebrow at.

AP Photo

A Prescient Michael Jackson Tribute?

In an edgy take on her standard red blazer, Palin mixed it up by arriving in a daring motorcycle-style jacket at a rally in Media, Pennsylvania, for Senator Arlen Specter.

AP Photo

Back in Wasilla

Back on her home turf, Palin shed her stiff suits for some comfort wear. Here, with daughter Piper, she dons a fur neck wrap, sweater embroidered with her state's name, and paisley pants.

George Burns, Harpo, Inc.

Making the Rounds

Sarah Palin and daughters Willow and Piper joined Oprah Winfrey for a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on Wednesday, November 11.

Lulu Larsen / Zuma Press

All-American Girl

Draped in the Stars and Stripes, Palin reminds us of her patriotism.

Debut on FOX, 1/12/10