The Fashion Report
The conservative glitterati brought their a-game to this year's CPAC in Washington, DC. Although the glamourous days of Jackie O and Nancy Reagan are long gone, this year’s event offered glimmers of hope that conservative men and women have not entirely given up. Some may question why style should matter in politics. We don’t make the rules, and if history tells us anything, voters scrutinize the outside just as much as the inside. That is merely the reality of the political arena. Liberal women have set a new low of unkempt hair, makeup, and unflattering wardrobes hand-picked from Wal-Mart’s clearance section. However, as conservatives, we should not abandon our standards because liberal men and women are getting harder and harder to differentiate.
Three of my closest friends and I ranked men and women throughout the event in five categories: skin, makeup, hair, wardrobe, and overall style. Having worked in beauty and fashion for over 15 years, I focused on overall style. Dianne Degnan, a celebrity hairdresser whose clients span from Rob Lowe to Beyonce, judged hair. My dear friend Amine Boullamanne, one of Milan’s most respected stylists, who works for Christian Dior as the lead stylist for Italy’s elite, judged the wardrobe. Lastly, Liza Mackawilli, a veteran celebrity makeup artist for television and makeup director for Nordstrom and Smashbox studios, evaluated the skin and makeup. Furthermore, we judged through a political lens, not against a Hollywood red carpet, but how the style would resonate with voters and political media.
We look at various things, such as fit and tailoring, makeup blending and tone, wardrobe color choices, and quality of hair color and extensions. Like I always say, just because you can wear red, white, and blue doesn’t mean you should. This year’s CPAC was a mixed bag with many pleasant surprises. Of course, there was a lot of the same, but narrowing down the worst was not easy overall.
Meet the Team
I'm Chad Law
Also known as, The Last Gay Conservative. As an award-winning podcaster, columnist, and speaker, I have always had to make the best of what God gave me, which ain't pretty. However, my unfortunate looks and size aside, I have always valued having a unique, powerful sense of style. My style Is the reason I am where I am. Although the days of Jackie O and Nancy Reagan are long gone, there Is always room for style, glamour, and a little touch of something special.
Before my career In conservative politics, I owned and sold three major businesses in the beauty industry. In fact, fashion is my only other passion, second to conservative politics. I have been used as Inspiration by some of the world's top labels, showcasing how larger guys can wear designer.
We are so excited to release the first of many CPAC fashion reviews following every event. You may be thinking, "what does fashion have to do with politics?" Well, as admirable as all those great qualities are inside, the outside counts just as much. You cannot be a powerful conservative man or woman looking frumpy. We all must embody a unique style that defines us, a look that knocks everyone off their feet when you enter a room. A look that will ensure constant wins at work, home, and/or school. Without your own style, you cannot win.
This year we have a team of industry experts who have scored various 'celebrities' from CPAC on five categories: overall style, makeup, hair, skin, and outfit. After the scores are tallied, we feature our best and worst in this report. I hope you enjoy it.
Best of the Best
This year’s 2023 CPAC best of the best goes to Winsome Sears, lieutenant governor of Virginia. Not only were we enamored by her overall presence, strength, and talking points, Winsome was the epitome of a near-perfect outside to match her incredible inside. Winsome in white was breath taking, and the photos do her look no justice.
Winsome Sears hit the CPAC stage in a perfectly fitted, soft white suit. A very modern cut complimented by oversized jewelry and silver earrings. Her chunky necklace got her serious points. Her makeup is flawless, with the perfect hint of color on the lips. We would have never guessed a top knot would look so elegant, but she pulls it off. Black hair is not always easy to keep tame on a hot, sweaty stage, and her hair looked natural but just done enough to look elegant. It seems she has no color in her hair, which can age women quickly, but on Winsome, it's pure class. Her one and only miss was the blouse; she had the right idea, but something a little more glamorous in a lighter fabric and solid color would have completed the look perfectly. Nonetheless, she was the best overall at this year's event.
Best of the Best
This year’s runner-up for best of the best goes to Kari Lake. It’s not easy to be a powerhouse in personality and style. Typically, women with fiery personalities and a strong presence focus less on their style and depend more on their ability to command a crowd. Kari Lake is the total package. She can command a runway just as much as a room of voters. Every part of Kari’s look is bold and risky and admittedly would work on very few women, but she killed it.
We'd never think leather pants with a green blouse were a good choice for CPAC, but it worked. Boy, did it work. Double points for not wearing red, white, or blue, and triple points for the touch of Gucci around the waist.
Her skin, hair, and makeup looked great, with a dewy glow and blending that only an experienced makeup artist could accomplish. Short hair on the wrong woman can quickly put them in the “I play softball and shop at Home Depot” category. Yet again, on Kari, it’s near perfection. Her hair color goes perfectly with her skin color. However, her lackluster lip color and earrings did not work and seemed to be last-minute mistakes, which kept her from receiving the top spot.
What we love most about Kari is that her style matches her roots. She embodies the Scottsdale and West Coast style, which is more fun than what you see with some East Coast contenders. Some may argue that her style was either too casual or not everyone’s cup of tea. However, Kari’s style is unequivocally hers, and she got major points for having a strong sense of personal style.
Worst of the Worst
This year’s worst of the worst goes to Elise Stefanik. Awarding the worst is always a tough choice, but unfortunately, Elise stood out like a sore thumb this year.
Elise- for God's sake, pay a stylist. If it's not goofy sleeves or wrong colors, it's this tacky ten-times-over suit. The suit looks like a hypnotic pattern on the calm app that claims to cure insomnia. Additionally, to only have a nude camisole as a blouse underneath is dumbfounding and trashy. Who takes a neon houndstooth suit off the rack? How could someone's eye ever be drawn to that suit? More importantly, how comes no one who loves her tells her? Amine, our in-house stylist, said, "Ray Charles picks out better clothes." Her foundation does not match her skin, and her cheeks have too much bronzer. Her hair Is OK, and it just needs a quick touch-up. However, anyone in the public eye should know never to leave the house without a small brush, Sebastian Shaper hairspray, and sometimes even a butane curling iron. This was a big miss, which is no surprise, but it's CPAC, the Oscars of conservative politics. You can't show up this way, no matter what state or district you represent. Please note that this is intended to help. We want Elise to have a big bright future in our movement, but she will not grow and garner respect as a politician showing up like this.
Worst of the Worst
Our worst of the worst runner this year goes to Candace Owens. This proves the objectivity of our scoring because I am one of Candace’s biggest fans. However, we’re judging the style, not the person.
This was an epic failure of highlighter proportions. Very few people can pull off highlighter neon yellow; sadly, Candace Owens isn’t one of them. This was a shock to all of us because Candace Owens has a great sense of style. We hope this was a risk she won't take again, or someone else dressed her because this highlighter yellow pants-suit does her no favors. When we say no favors, we mean that we could hardly focus on the hair, skin, and makeup because all we could look at was this horrendous suit. If it weren't for her perfect skin, hair, and cosmetics, she would have been the worst of the worst. However, her eyebrows are perfect, along with her lashes. Our makeup artist commented, "Candace has the best brows and lashes I’ve seen in years.” Her hair had virtually no frizz with a gorgeous shine. Clearly, she was smart enough to bring the flat iron backstage. The blouse under the suit looks like a nice modern piece, but who can tell with that highlighter yellow jacket? Sadly, we missed the shoes, but even a pair from this year’s runway collection by Christian Louboutin (which we love) would not have elevated that outfit. No risk, no reward is not something we recommend for “the main event” and televised speaking. Next year Candace will crush it. We know it.
Best of the Best Men
Embarisngly, the team and I knew very little, if anything, about Joe Mitchell. The junior state representative looked sharp nonetheless. His suit was fitted like a glove. The baby blue shirt, broken up with the white color and red tie, was a risk worth taking. He is a modern, stylish conservative man. He was wearing a gorgeous timepiece that was not over the top. His hairstyle was effortlessly neat, and his makeup looked great and matched through, unlike many men with their man-made tan lines. For an event of this caliber, a man never wants that "fresh out of the barber chair" blatantly new haircut. The sweet spot is about 7-10 days; you can tell that's exactly what he did. His shave was close to the skin and very clean, and there were no missed neck hair or ungroomed areas. All in all, we could find nothing amiss or cheesy about Joe Mitchell's style. A job well done.
Best of the Best Men
You can't have Matt Gaetz's swagger and dress like a slob. Matt is stylish through and through, and he's very good at matching the look with the occasion. It's important to note that we saw Matt in two different outfits, both equally spectacular. His suit is tailored perfectly, and the combination of blues and greys and the crisp white shirt worked wonders. The dark grey, almost black tie took his look to a new level, making a standard business suit look formal. From a pure style standpoint, Matt won, but unfortunately, he lost points in the hair and makeup categories. His makeup was caked on, too obvious, and too matte. His hair was too long between haircuts, and he had many little flyaways and stray hairs. What we love about Matt's style is that it embodies a cool, calm, and collected appearance that does not distract from his handsome face or powerful voice.
Worst of the Worst Men
Sebastian Gorka is the prime example of a man trapped in a time he felt he was at his prime. This year was a step up from his usual three-piece suit and cheap jewelry combination, but not by much. Sebastian, unfortunately, is just messy from top to bottom. Despite the fact that his wardrobe looks lifted right off of The Fraiser Crane show circa 1995, the yellow tie is a dagger in the heart. His suit is not tailored, nor does it fit well. The jewelry is cheap and gaudy looking, regardless of its actual price. He looks much older than he is because his skin is dry. He had some obvious razor burn, and we believe that if you wear a goatee like this, everything around it must be clean and smooth. Sadly, as conservative men age, oftentimes, their style stays somewhere it shouldn't. Sebastian is the epitome of this. He is a decent-looking man whose lack of proper grooming and 90's wardrobe makes him look irrelevant. Also, one final note- yellow on men is not flattering and a color that should not be on a tie.
Worst of the Worst Men
Byron, Byron, Byron...this was a tough one. First, we adore Byron and never want to score him poorly. Second, his grooming is spot on, but his wardrobe tanked his average. The highlights for Byron were his impeccable haircut and beard. The shape fits his face, and the dusting of grey throughout his beard is dignified. Unfortunately, his suit did not match. We're unsure why he would put a yellow tie next to a blue suit. We assume the suit was bought off the rack because the sleeves were too short, the shoulders were too wide, and the front was too snug. Furthermore, the heavy wool style of this suit isn't a complete miss, but it's not something you wear to an event like CPAC. His choice of shoes was also surprising, we couldn't tell, but we assume they were rubber soled. We also did not notice a timepiece, which means one of his many admirers needs to gift him a Rolex. Most men's jewelry is cheesy, but Byron could have added a nice tie clip, not that we would notice it next to that hideous yellow tie. All in all, we know Byron will come out swinging next year with style to match his natural swagger.
And that's a wrap!
The who's who of the conservative movement has set the tone for 2023, and we like what we see. The most mentionable trend is the break away from red, white, and blue and the softer, less extreme makeup looks. Hair seems to be one of the bigger challenges, including style and color, but with the right hairdressers, it should be an easy fix. We'd love to see the accessories and jewelry game stepped up, as almost every woman looked as if they threw their jewelry on without considering the overall look.
Please remember that this is merely our opinion and all in good fun. Sometimes it's nice to look at our amazing conservatives differently and take a break from the typical media chaos. We should also mention that the photos you see here don't showcase all of our notes and are more for placement purposes versus scoring.
Lastly, remember to look at some of the best dressed and some of the worst, and see whom you take more seriously. You may have never noticed, but the best style wins every time. If we compare Matt Gaetz to Sebastian Gorka, who commands the crowd and has people listening? Who is more relevant? The same goes for women. If we compare Winsome to Stefanik, who do you think looks more serious and qualified in the eyes of voters? Who looked effortless and natural versus not having any personal sense of style? Ultimately, this is why style is important, and we only hope our conservative elite will take note.
Congratulations to our winners. If you'd like more information on the report, me or the team, don't hesitate to contact us.