08.31.12 7:13 AM ET
Janna Ryan's Discount Style: Two Talbots Dresses at The Republican National Convention
Ann Romney's style was pitch-perfect at the Republican National Convention. She look straight out of First-Lady Central Casting in a red Oscar de la Renta dress during her speech on Tuesday night, and glowed in an electric blue dress on Thursday. Romney's goal was to show the world that she's ready to be the First Lady -- and with her clothes, she certainly pulled it off.
But in order to successfully communicate that message, Romney needed to distance herself from her wealthy stereotype: she needed to look polished without exuding privilege. And the dresses she chose communicated it perfectly: stylish and put-together ensembles that are pricey without being ostentatious (the de la Renta retails for $1990).
Janna Ryan, on the other hand, is going a different route. The 43-year-old wife of Paul Ryan has fashioned herself as distinctly all-American. The dresses she has worn at the Convention have both been from Talbot's, the discount yet stil prim-and-proper chain store.
On Thursday night, she wore a black and white sheath dress which was Talbots' Ponte Knit White Piped-Sheath, which retails for $129.00. On Wednesday, she appeared by her husband's side in an $169 emerald brushed-back wool sheath from Talbots. Earlier this month, Ryan wore a $70 printed dress from Kohl's when Ryan's candidacy was announced.
While WWD reports that Ann Romney's ensembles may really translate to real influence with shoppers -- the phones have apparently been ringing off the hook at de la Renta and Saks for the dress -- the "Janna Ryan Effect" remains to be seen.