“A national campaign is urgently
required to improve ‘shocking’ dress standards at Flemington race
course, fashion industry identities urged yesterday,” or so The Australian claims today. That’s fashion on the field. But what about fashion on the floor – the floor of the House of Representatives?

Question Time is at 2:00 pm and the galleries – press and public – were more thinly populated than usual yesterday.

few observers, however, were shocked at the site of a frilled spearmint
green marquee on the floor of the House. On closer examination this
proved to be the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Fran Bailey.

Bailey often dresses like those grande dames – emphasis on grande – who featured in so many Three Stooges
films. You know the type. Large women of a certain age and social
standing who have their glorious homes destroyed when Larry, Curly and
Moe arrive as plumbers. Yesterday was no exception. Indeed, exceptional
might be the best word to describe her outfit. The matching shawl was a

Bailey would have taken Crikey’s Cup Day Fashion on the
Floor Award – if we’d seen a hat. It was missing, although there is, of
course, the possibility it couldn’t actually fit into the House. After
all, to do justice to the outfit it must have very similar dimensions
to the Quangle Wangle‘s.

Former minister Jackie Kelly
had her hat there, perched on the desk in front of her, a rather nice
burnt orange number to go with a burnt orange dress topped off by a
long, pearlesceant coat – very good for her colouring. The effect,
alas, was spoiled when she got up. Her shoes were just plain orange.
The colour was way out.

Shoes were the only strong point of Parliament’s usual Queen of Bling, Minister for Aging, Julie Bishop‘s cup day outfit – a smart pair of dark red stilettos.

And at least the Member for Ballarat, Catherine King,
wore shoes yesterday – or boots, to be specific. They were kicked off
beneath her desk for most of Monday’s Question Time. Not much can be
said for the rest of her outfit. The top resembled macramé drapes I
recall hanging off TVs in the seventies.

Peter Costello seems unable to deliver a tax system for the 21st century, so he tried to look contemporary on Cup Day in a pink shirt.

Kim Beazley, for some inexplicable reason, was in a royal blue tie more suited to the Conservative Party Annual Conference. David Cameron might be the name to watch in politics in the moment, but really!

Which leads us to our unlikely winner. Julia Gillard‘s
hair colour was restrained, the cut was good, the styling fine and –
even more surprising – the mossy coloured suit she was wearing not only
didn’t clash with it – and actually fitted shadow health minister. A
challenge must be looming.