Late Night Open Thread: Expert Advice

cpac pinterest
The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, aka CPAC, officially starts this Thursday. And while staunch-conservatives-not-RINOs like Erick Erickson may consider it “stupid” — something about “libertarian leaning serial whining twitterati of twenty-somethings” — evil-minded left-of-rightwing bloggers are already sharpening their pixeled stilettos about “the political equivalent of a Furry Convention”.

A number of them have helpful embedded the Pinterest graphic explaining (to quote Dave Weigel) “Your Guide to Dressing Like A Decent Person at CPAC” (golf shirts, yes; tshirts, NO!). But only NYMAG fashion blogger Kat Stoeffel seems to have gone behind the curtain to namecheck the image designer:

… Adrienne Royer (whose website says she’s a digital communications veteran who has worked “for figures such as Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Rick Santorum“)…

Sarah Palin and Rick “Sweater Vest” Santorum”! Because if there’s anyone in politics of whom the very mention brings to mind the concept of understated elegance…

84 replies
  1. 1
    LosGatosCA says:

    Understated would be an understatement.

  2. 2
    Irish Steel says:

    What?! But all I packed was my “dressy” shorts! And my Uggs!

  3. 3

    “Understated elegance” for Sarah Palin is leather hipwaders with spiked heels.

  4. 4
    mai naem says:

    Jeez, I didn’t know the women had choices. I thought they all just required to wear burqas.

  5. 5
    bjacques says:

    No mention of wetsuits or dildo. YESSS!!!

  6. 6
    👽 Martin says:

    Wetsuits and dildos are in. Furry outfits are in. Sexy teapot is in. Sounds like a party.

  7. 7
    scav says:

    Note that once again, the emphasis is not on how to be a decent person, it is on how to dress like one. Because, it’s not the platform or the principles that needs to be re-evaluated, it’s all about the messaging.

  8. 8

    But I thought Sarah Palin got her clothes at consignment shops! I’m so disillusioned.

    I have insomnia.

  9. 9
    raven says:

    @Southern Beale: Join the club.

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:

    “The political equivalent of a Furry Convention.” Heh.

    I understand that several of the attendees manage to hook up. Can’t criticize that, in all honesty. IIRC, a lot of lefty gatherings have been the occasion of folks trying to . . uh . . confirm their new-found friendship.

    Some people from other countries, even likeminded folks, think this is a USA phenomenon.

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I have insomnia.


    Join the club.

    I crashed awake at 3:00 a.m. and haven’t been able to get back to sleep. The alarm’s going to go off in 45 minutes. It is still going to be dark out for quite a while. This already has long day written all over it.

  12. 12
    WereBear says:

    They call them “rompers”?

    I am stunned. It truly is difficult to believe this is the opposition messing up people’s lives. But of course it’s not just them; it’s the people who vote for them.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Our walk to the bakery is in total darkness again.

  14. 14
    JoyfulA says:

    @raven: Yes, join the large club.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @JoyfulA: My bride is struggling with back problems. When she is fitful it wakes me up and I have to get up. As soon as I do the Bohdi jumps in the bed and I don’t want to disturb them by kicking him out. To the couch!

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well then, I hope Li’l Bit and the Bohdi are seeing-eye dogs.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I have NPR’s Morning Edition on, and I have heard two separate reporters, in two separate stories, use “Democrat” as an adjective. Bad enough it sets my teeth on edge when a Republican does it.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Lil Bit is up to 4 meds twice a day. Her doggie eye doctor is doing a great job maintaining her vision but it’s always touch and go.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:


    Republican / NPR, not really any difference. Just because it isn’t frothing at the moutn like a BillO does not mean it is not supporting the same agenda

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    I saw the first robin day before yesterday. Always makes me think of this poem:

    Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf,
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day
    Nothing gold can stay.

    ~Robert Frost

    Y’all be on the lookout for it!

  21. 21
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Man, if I wasn’t a working woman, I’d show up at CPAC in a burqa. Probably wouldn’t get through security.

    That “what to wear” chart is so anal.

  22. 22
    Phylllis says:

    The ‘all next Pope all the time’ breathless coverage is making me wish for the ‘all Masters all the time’ coverage which reaches equally ridiculous heights in these parts, and makes me stabby. The upside is, when the Masters coverage does begin, it will certainly drown out all of this nonsence.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    Hmmm. No underwear on that chart. I see how they roll at CPAC.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    You can pry my Toms from my cold dead feet.

  25. 25
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  30. 30
    raven says:

    @jeffreyw: It is! thx

  31. 31
    Soonergrunt says:

    @ Anne Laurie:
    “Sarah Palin and Rick “Sweater Vest” Santorum”! Because if there’s anyone in politics of whom the very mention brings to mind the concept of understated elegance…”

    Artfully done. Golf claps to you.

  32. 32
    danielx says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I’ve heard that as well. However…from what I can remember of reports from last year’s CPAC, a significant number of the hookees are closeted young Republicans steppin’ out in the big city. Probably means this year’s iteration of the Village People can add a new persona: young Republican in uptightwear, although somehow CPAC and getting your freak on* just don’t go together for me. Although hey, that garb does seem to work for Lindsay Graham.

    Word to the wise – I did a search for some photo I recall of Palin onstage wearing shorts and heels, because nothing says understated elegance like shorts and heels. Don’t do this search – ever. Having a whole screenful of Caribou Barbie pics open in front of you will start the whole day off badly.

    *Getting your freak on in a completely heterosexual way, as Jesus’ General says – one must be familiar with the General’s work, including The Terrible Spatula Of Redemption, to get this reference. In all seriousness, the General – one of my all time favorite bloggers – is evidently seriously under the weather at the present time and needs good thoughts and wishes. We need a man who can write phrases like this:

    Brandon, a man who fervently hopes Edgar Winter will become Pope Albedo I, agrees…

    Or this, from the General’s guest columnist Pope Benedict:

    I resigned for the reasons I stated. I’m sick and I’m tired. I’m sick and tired of the Swiss Guard’s failure to follow my orders to occupy the Sudetenland and invade Poland. I’m tired of that bitchy queen, Cardinal Lajolo’s, snarky remarks about the cut of my Falda and maniple–as if that silly arschgeige knows the difference between Prada and prosciutto. And most of all, I’m tired of all those Hollywood prostituierten upstaging me as they model their dresses on the award show red carpets. The Grammys were the last straw. I’m done.

  33. 33
    elmo says:

    “This is the crack team that foils my every plan? I am deeply shamed.” /Spike

    There is a Buffy quote for every occasion, really.

  34. 34
    the Conster says:

    Sarah Palin looks terrible now – there was a snippet of video of her recently yammering about something and she was wearing something shiny and cheap, and looks cold and stiff and harsh. Looking back at the fuckton of money they spent to clean her up for the campaign, the makeup/stylist people needed every penny. There isn’t enough money in the world to disguise her idiocy, thankfully.

  35. 35
    Shalimar says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I was listening to NPR yesterday afternoon and the news reader basically said “Republicans introduced a new budget today that balances the budget in 10 years. The Democratic plan doesn’t balance the budget, nor does the President’s plan.” That was it, all she said about the subject. And it was part of a news break, not part of a program.

  36. 36
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @the Conster:

    Sarah does look bad these days, like she is strung out on something or is fighting a major illness.

  37. 37
    Ash Can says:

    So what’s the typical RW response to instructions such as these? Is it “fuck you, asshole, I’ll wear what I want” or “yes, Mother”?

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Men can wear khaki’s and a golf shirt with loafers while females need to wear something a tad dressier that will require dry cleaning. CPAC is discriminating..

  39. 39
    danielx says:

    Now here’s the pic of Our Sarah for which I was searching. It wasn’t shorts and heels, it was pedal pushers and hooker combat boots, but the Superman tshirt is totally to die for.

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:


    I love the Generals work and have been concerned about his recent absence. I’m hoping it is nothing serious.

  41. 41
    Ash Can says:

    Also too, are we to believe that how-to-dress instructions are necessary for CPAC because not enough of the attendees have jobs that require them to dress in acceptable office attire? (Or maybe all those wisecracks we make about these people being too fucking stupid to dress themselves are more accurate than we realize.)

  42. 42
    gene108 says:

    I do wonder the make-up of the folks attending CPAC that they have to be reminded not to dress like trailer trash in public.

  43. 43
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @danielx: God. If Sarah wasn’t such a hateful person, I could almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

  44. 44
    atlliberal says:

    No mini skirts or sleeveless tops…Ann Coulter wasn’t invited?

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Also too, all their uncritical acceptance of the idea that this week is the VERY FIRST TIME in the past four years and two months that the President has EVER reached out to Republicans, or invited them to socialize. And unquestioningly quoting Senators like John McCain and Susan Collins about how important it is for the President to make nice and it’s a bit late but better late than never and MAYBE NOW we can talk, making no promises of course….

    I really need to break my 40-year-old reflexive attachment to NPR.

  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @gene108: I had to wonder about that too. Do liberals have conferences similar to CPAC? Is there a “what to wear” chart for liberal conferences? Or do liberals just know what to wear without being told?

    Things that make me go “Hmmmmm….”

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This is one of the “looks” from the Pinterest page. Fake Nantucket reds with a pinstriped jacket that has white(?!) buttons. And a red tie? Okay, the suede shoes look decent. What are the odds that someone will wear this combo at CPAC?

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Liberals have Netroots Nation. I’ve never attended, but I don’t recall hearing about any detailed dress code for it.

  49. 49
    Ash Can says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’d look at someone dressed like that and assume he was the entertainment.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ash Can: Exactly. It looks like a costume, not clothing.

  51. 51
    evodevo says:

    @the Conster: The Gravy Train ran off the tracks, and it’s hard maintaining that level of grift on net receipts from fishing, believe me…

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m surprised (no, really) that the pillars of society who attend CPAC need to be told how to dress, and in such detail too. Is it really that tricky? Do so few of them know what “business attire” is?

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    Another long day here.
    Must be something in the water.
    Maybe it’s joining the work force once again.
    The stress of not laying about all day is getting to me.

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    Guess that grudgingly given credit must be noted for still calling the suggested male footwear ‘loafers’ rather than ’47 percenters.’

    T-Shirt vendors, however, must be at least a little miffed that their wares are couture non grata.

  55. 55
    Bulworth says:

    Wait, Erick son of Erick isn’t down with C-P-A-C? What in the world has this world come to?

  56. 56
    Ramalama says:

    Nary a word on culottes, so I think I’m all set.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    I find it fascinating that all but one of the “do not wears” are women’s attire. Even the purportedly gender-neutral jeans are clearly being worn by a woman.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    Oh, I expect that halter tops, miniskirts, leggings and such will also be for the menfolk streng verboten.

  59. 59
    Rathskeller says:

    Can some kind person explain why ballet flats are ok, but Toms are not? I’ve never heard of Toms before today.

  60. 60
    MCA1 says:

    I love that 90% of the “don’t wear this” items are women’s clothing. Shows where their priorities are and who they think constitute the inappropriate dressers.

    The chart should actually have been much smaller. “Wear this” with a picture of two people in suits and a third in a sportcoat with dress pants. Optional bow tie, I suppose, since this is Republicans. “Don’t wear this” could simply say “Anything else, or you’ll look like an unprofessional slob.” But apparently they have trouble getting the attendees of one of the most important conservative political player events to go beyond Dockers and Ashworth golf shirts.

  61. 61
    MCA1 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That costume being “wannabe dandy but I don’t recognize that these country club pants should never be worn with a tie, much less a coat that’s not seersucker.” In other words, d-bag.

  62. 62
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    “the attendees manage to hook up. Can’t criticize that, in all honesty.”

    I think we Can criticize that, because most liberals don’t make a habit of telling people “fucking is bad, mkay?” whereas that’s a career path on the right.

    “IIRC, a lot of lefty gatherings have been the occasion of folks trying to . . uh . . confirm their new-found friendship. Some people from other countries, even likeminded folks, think this is a USA phenomenon.”

    So it’s true what they say about American girls.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, aka CPAC, officially starts this Thursday. And while staunch-conservatives-not-RINOs like Erick Erickson may consider it “stupid” — something about “libertarian leaning serial whining twitterati of twenty-somethings”

    It’s more complicated than just “libertarian,” Erick. The enduring irony of CPAC is that it’s hundreds of people united by two things: 1) a firm and unshakeable belief that government is the problem and not the solution; and 2) a desire to network and make the connections that’ll allow them to get good jobs in that Government Machine once they’re out of college and usually stay there for the rest of their professional lives.

    On a more personal note, fuck CPAC for moving to the Marriot on Woodley Road the same year I moved to the apartment building right up the street, and then abandoning said Marriot the same year I moved out of DC. It’s like one of the planners had a personal mission to piss me off.

  64. 64
    muddy says:

    @Rathskeller: I was just wondering the same thing. Probably they think Toms are social ist because it’s a buy one get one deal. You buy a pair, they give a pair to poor people in Central/South America, now in Cambodia too, and I think Africa.

    But it’s charity! I thought they wanted things for poor people to come from charity. It’s not like Toms is using government money.

  65. 65
    Chris says:


    Optional bow tie, I suppose, since this is Republicans.

    Is there something especially conservative about bow ties? Now that you mention it, the only people I know who adore them are country Republicans.

  66. 66
    different-church-lady says:

    Hey look, you gotta admit that Santorum’s sweater vest to Palin’s red-plether cougar look represents quite a wide gamut, no?

  67. 67
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    To be fair, I actually agree with the style guide for professional events.

    But the fact that CPAC needed to provide one for their attendees, who must be paying gobs of dough for this farce, is saying something.

    I should add that they must be tolerating golf shirts on men out of necessity, because 95% of CPAC attendees are probably rockin’ pastel polos and pleated Dockers.

  68. 68
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Looks like they rescued that look out of the shred pile of a Brooks Brothers catalog.

  69. 69
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Schlemizel: Have you noticed that damn near every report from Mara L. focuses on Republicans? Her soundbytes invariably come from Fox News. And yet, FSM forbid, we suggest that someone suggest she is not objective. Oh, she may say something like, “Republicans have their work cut out for them…” but it’ll always be tempered by a bit of Repub rah-rahhing later in the report.

  70. 70
    West of the Rockies says:

    @the Conster: I quite agree; she looks gaunt, angry (“a lean and hungry look”). She looks bitter and brittle. And stomping around in black leather outfits with big Klingon shoulder-pads isn’t helping matters.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage): I think that from a menswear stand point they are wrong on the no jeans call. Good jeans, a button down shirt, and a blazer can work quite well. OTOH, the group getting the advice would probably fuck up that look.

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage): WTF?

  72. 72
    MCA1 says:

    @Chris: My personal theory is that it’s something to do with the historical academic connotations of the bowtie. Now it represents “academic, yet rebellious within the universe of academics” for a lot of folks. Which is where a lot of pseudo-intellectual Republicans and Libertarians see themselves: in some kind of a battle against Ivory Tower liberal oppressors. See Carlson, Tucker, at least in his past personae. It’s a signifier of “Hey, I’m brainy, but I’m not a liberal, because brainy liberals wear tweed jackets with patches on the elbows.” It’s also a signifier of “I’m a professional, but not in a conformist manner where I wear the same monkey suit everyone else does. Ergo, I think for myself and don’t subscribe to any political platforms verbatim. It just so happens that I’ve independently concluded on the side of Republicans 99% of the time.”

  73. 73
    muddy says:

    My dad wore a bowtie all the time in the 50s. Maybe conservatives are trying to hark back to their favorite period in history. (except the tax part of course)

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MCA1: It is the Young Fogie syndrome. As done by poseurs.

  75. 75
    MCA1 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Probably? Hell, even their chosen presidential candidate couldn’t figure out how to wear jeans and a sportcoat together properly. If there’s anyone who should have that look down, it’d be a guy with a quarter of a billion dollars and 25 years in the private equity world. Republicans would have to specify “dark jeans only, no tapering toward the ankle, and you shouldn’t be able to stuff a monkey in the back seat what with all that roominess above the knee.”

  76. 76
    cckids says:


    T-Shirt vendors, however, must be at least a little miffed that their wares are couture non grata

    Especially given the plethora of “funny” (read: hateful) anti-Obama T-shirts out there, I’m sure many of them will be bummed.

  77. 77
    Chris says:


    That does make sense. Be nonconformist by being conformist; it’s hip to be square, etc.

  78. 78
    MCA1 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thank you for that link. Enjoyable in multiple ways – the phenomenon in general; its thorough treatment on a quasi-academic basis, right down the specificity of their hobbies and favorite intellectual pursuits; the way British society cannot stand to leave anyone uncategorized (and its citizens quesiness about not being a nice taxonomic fit somewhere, as well). I was not aware of the Young Fogey previously, but have run across isolated individuals, in retrospect.

  79. 79
    g says:

    Naughty Monkey pumps?

  80. 80
    g says:

    What’s with the prohibition against Toms, anyway?

  81. 81
    West of the Rockies says:

    @g: Palin made those sort of the rage for the young-ish conserva-gal on the go. Now I think the hot shoe are those red-bottomed things favored by Angelina Joli (don’t know the designer’s name).

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @West of the Rockies: Christian Louboutin. Don’t ask why I know things like this.

  83. 83
    turbine divinity says:

    what exactly did we do to deserve getting compared to KKKCon 2013

  84. 84
    Nutella says:

    No “dressy” shorts? OK, then, ratty cut-offs it is!

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