Deborah Ross: Yes, but what about the wives' outfits?

If you ask me...

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, I know you are impatient for my fashion notes from the Labour Party conference so, first I would like to say this: Ed Miliband, as you probably noticed, and as has already been widely reported, pulled off a supremely stylish look for his speech, wearing a nice black suit jacket teamed with matching suit trousers, shoes (two) and a tie (navy).

"It was," says our in-house fashion expert, "bang on the money and just shows what you can achieve with two parts of a suit."And as Grazia added: "It was simple but elegant and we thought a shoe on each foot was an absolutely lovely touch. Ed has obviously learned a lot over the years about which looks flatter him and which to avoid and we would give this particular look a big tick."

Meanwhile, no one took a blind bit of notice of what his wife, Justine, was wearing which, as she will admit, is always extremely galling. "One day, I'd like my outfits to be dissected by everybody," she said, "along with my hair and my make-up and my jewellery and my handbag and I would also like some discussion on whether my chosen outfit best suits my petite frame." She then added wistfully: "Oh well, I can always dream." And then, even more wistfully: "You'd think that once, just once, someone would compare my dress sense negatively to the other leaders' wives, as if it were a competition, wouldn't you? Is that too much to ask, seriously?"

It was the same last week at the Liberal Democrats' conference when all the attention was on Nick Clegg, who was also bang on the money with a jacket and matching trousers (navy) and a tie on top of a shirt. "While Nick doesn't sit on the front row," remarked Vogue, "he obviously pays attention to the trends."

His wife Miriam says she now accepts that no one will comment on her appearance. "Like Justine, I'm a high-flying lawyer with a career in my own right, so I do get fed up when everyone focuses on that and not whether my leg-lengthening nude shoes might be from LK Bennett or I've adopted the white blazer as one of my key pieces this season. Some days, I just want to scream! I think we have a long way to go before we reach equality of the sexes in this regard."

Next week, it's the Conservative Party conference and I, for one, can't wait to see what David Cameron is wearing. Something figure-hugging? Maybe, because as the Daily Mail once noted: "You wouldn't believe he's had four children. You just wouldn't."