Political chic

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The Independent Online

Selecting appropriate attire is one of the trickiest decisions politicians have to make. Too formal in this age of casual, and they look stuffy; too informal, and they forfeit respect. This is how we reached the perplexing uniform known as "smart casual": the visible proof that today's politicians know how to relax, while preserving their authority intact. But it is not necessary to look further than the Berlusconis' Sardinian garden to realise some carry off this treacherous style better than others. The only thing more embarrassing than Silvio Berlusconi in a bandanna would have been Tony Blair opting to wear one, too.

Selecting appropriate attire is one of the trickiest decisions politicians have to make. Too formal in this age of casual, and they look stuffy; too informal, and they forfeit respect. This is how we reached the perplexing uniform known as "smart casual": the visible proof that today's politicians know how to relax, while preserving their authority intact. But it is not necessary to look further than the Berlusconis' Sardinian garden to realise some carry off this treacherous style better than others. The only thing more embarrassing than Silvio Berlusconi in a bandanna would have been Tony Blair opting to wear one, too.

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