Outside of our threadbare red carpets, there is a national suspicion of men in public life who dress too well. “Looking like you don’t give much of a shit is an Australian badge of honour,” said author Kirstie Clements who, as editor of Vogue for 15 years, is credentialed to make such a claim and assess Tony Abbott’s recent appearance before Australian troops in leather -- although Clements can’t be convinced it wasn’t pleather -- against it. “Personally, I’d accept the authority of someone who looks schmick,” she said, before a momentary lapse into her own lower-house fantasy ensemble (“Armani pin stripes with heels and a black satin shirt that could take me from question time to a function! FABULOUS”). But, she said, “We Australians are cautious of powerful men who look like they have tried too hard”.
Razer: Abbott errs, Bishop shines in the war on pleather
Men can no longer escape the harsh judgement of our intensely visual age. So how well are the boys adjusting to the critical gaze women have endured for so long?