Last night’s fiery vice presidential debate gave us many things to pore over: Some excellent debating and the chance to hear more about Joe Biden and Paul Ryan’s views on the “issues” (abortion, defense, the economy); some (OK, a lot) of Joe Biden’s chuckling and flashing of pearly whites; break out star moderator Martha Raddatz (who has been declared the “winner” of the debate by much of the internets); and, of course, another chance to examine and analyze the style of the candidate’s wives, Jill Biden and Jana Ryan.
So let’s take a look at the current and potential Second Ladies and see how they did.
Janna Ryan, 43, wore a berry pink sheath and cropped jacket that may be this Anne Klein suit (see right), which is available on sale at Macy’s for $159.99. We don’t have confirmation of this, but Lauren A. Rothman (@styleauteur), a political style columnist at HuffPo, tweeted the suit ID and it looks pretty spot-on to us. It also is consistent with her price point choices in the past–like the $169 Talbots dress she wore to the RNC.
They’re obviously both attractive women, but we think that Biden, despite being almost 20 years older than Ryan, looks a bit more fashionable. She opted for a slim-fitting dress rather than a suit, one with an interesting neckline and ruching details at the waist. Ryan’s suit was a bit more staid and boxy. (It’s also worth noting that Ryan’s silhouette–a boxy suit jacket and slim skirt–echoed the Preen number that Michelle Obama wore to the first Presidential debate.)
The Power Pins: Both ladies went for some big old brooches–which is obviously a page from the Michelle Obama style book. It’s a great way to add flair and a bit of personality to an outfit that has to be rather conservative. So who did it better? Depends how you feel about symmetry. Janna Ryan chose a flower (or maybe it’s a bug), while Jill Biden went with a more symmetric circular flower–both gold and both sparkly.
The Hair: Neither of these ladies has particularly helmet-y political wife hair, especially Janna Ryan. The length and luxuriousness of it makes her seem more youthful. And while she doesn’t spend a lot on her clothes, we suspect her hair–from the color to the styling–gets some resources. Jill Biden also obviously takes care of her blonde ‘do, and her signature Farrah-esque wings and bangs were there in full effect last night.
So to sum up, both ladies looked pretty great. We like that they both went for bold jewel tones and bling-y broaches even if we felt Jill Biden’s slim fitting ruched dress was a bit more fashionable than Jana Ryan’s boxy suit. Their sartorial choices also point to the influence Michelle Obama has had on political wife-style. The jewel tones, the broaches, the natural hair–all are hallmarks of Mrs. O’s signature stand out style.