Famous Faces And Moments In Canadian Political Fashion History
Jack Layton’s Moustache
His outfits may not have been anything out of the ordinary, but the late leader of the NDP party is an excellent example of how to perfect one’s signature look. His moustache came to symbolize his warmth, sincerity and approachability, and made him one of the most recognized — and most missed — icons on the Canadian political scene. He’s shown here on the campaign trail in Kitchener, Ontario on March 29, 2011.
Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
This 1968 photo — of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (front left) and his new cabinet arriving for swearing-in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa — reminds us of the Brat Pack. The suits. The glasses. The sharp ties! A few of Canada’s current politicians could learn a thing or two from the stylishness that was one of Canada’s most beloved, most controversial and best-dressed PMs.
Stockwell Day In A Wetsuit
Shortly after winning a seat in Parliament for the newly-formed Canadian Alliance party in 2000, Stockwell Day thought it would be a good idea to wear this to his very first press conference — a wetsuit… and arrived on a jet ski.
Justin Trudeau And Sophie Grégoire Get Married
A “Royal Wedding” moment which happened in Montreal on May 28, 2005, was covered heavily by the media, and the newlyweds didn’t disappoint style-wise. The bride’s vintage-inspired gown and the groom’s dashing tan suit all added to the romance of the moment, particularly when they sped off from the ceremony in Trudeau’s father’s 1960 Mercedes 300 SL. The Trudeaus are the closest thing Canada’s got to the Kennedys, and the new couple carried off their most public moment in fine style.
The Trudeaus Wear Fur
Activist group People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) slammed the MP for his “lurid” Christmas card in 2010 with a portrait of them decked out in Canada Goose jackets
Former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier
Check out Wilfrid Laurier and his travel attire in this undated pic, snapped during the former PMs final tour of western Canada. Even when laid-back he looks dapper with a paper-boy hat, a vest, pocket square and a smoking jacket. If only he could have passed his style advice on to…
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
… Our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We are almost lost for words when looking at this outfit. Harper, centre, chose to wear what amounts to a fishing vest on a trip to Mexico in 2006 (where he visited with U.S. President George Bush (left) and Mexican President Vincente Fox (right)). See how Bush and Fox are decked out in desert duds? Light linen shirts, khakis? Ya, that’s what you wear in the desert.
If the fishing vest incident wasn’t bad enough, we present you with this image of Canada’s current Prime Minister at the Calgary Stampede. We’re speechless. The leather vest is too short, the hat too big and the white shirt too tight. We blame his handlers for not directing him in a better sartorial direction.
Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Hilary Weston
If you’re a former model-turned-political figure-turned-philanthropist and wife of one of the richest and most fashionable men in the country (Galen Weston, pictured right, has a controlling interest in Loblaw Companies Limited and owns Holt Renfrew and Selfridges), you know a thing or two about fashion. And you can successfully pull off a mean pair of floral pants with a bright purple shirt — not an easy feat for anyone.
Former Governor General Michaëlle Jean
She is perhaps one of the most stylish political figures and journalists in recent Canadian history. She rocks a short, cropped ‘Halle Berry’ haircut like it’s nobody’s business and always looks smart in her bright-coloured suits.
Jessica Brownstein & Ben Mulroney Get Married
Jessica Brownstein, a fashion stylist and heir to the Browns shoe retailer fortune, and Ben Mulroney, son of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and an entertainment correspondent for eTalk, married on October 30, 2008. Because the pair are regularly photographed for social columns, and what they wear is a popular topic, they tried to keep their Montreal wedding under wraps. Here is one of the few images leaked from their sartorially savvy big day — they looked good tying the knot, even if none of us got to see.
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird
Conservative MP John Baird sure likes to cause a fuss during question period. And while we’re sure he’s making an important point on the state of Canada’s international affairs, we always find ourselves getting distracted by his ties. He can rock a mean one. This green one works perfectly with the tone of his suit …
… And then there’s this tie which matches a) the setting of the House of Commons perfectly and b) plays well off his serious hand gestures — the diagonal black stripe in the middle of this tie corresponds nicely with the angle he holds his hand at when yelling.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark
It wasn’t what this west coast premier was wearing during question period that caused an uproar, but, ahem, what she wasn’t covering up. In October 2011, political analyst and former MLA David Schreck caused a flurry in the Twitterverse after he sent out a tweet commenting on her cleavage.
“Is Premier Clark’s cleavage revealing attire appropriate for the legislature?” Schreck was promptly called out by Twitter users who suggested his remark was sexist.
Clark, for her part, rebutted saying the suggestion her outfit was inappropriate is “unfair criticism” that dissuades young girls from entering politics.
Former Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe
Poor Gilles Duceppe. We’re almost positive the then-leader of the Bloc Québécois was made to wear this hairnet while touring a cheese factory in Quebec in 1997 (just look at his face, he seems none too pleased). But we can’t help but giggle a little at this image. Hairnets look good on no one, especially politicians.
NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan
Photoshop controversies are a regular occurrence in the style world — either a model is missing a limb or a celebrity’s legs have been “thinned” out. But this style faux pas takes the cake: after some Parliamentarians reportedly spoke out against her “revealing” headshot (which showed a bit of cleavage), this image appeared online. As you can see, the pic completely edits out her décolletage. And on behalf of the 29-year-old Tamil MP we ask: what’s so racy about wearing a white scoop-neck top, a green necklace and showing a bit of cleavage?
Peter MacKay & Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Once one of the most eligible and smartly-dressed bachelors in Canada, the Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay recently married Nazanin Afshin-Jam, an Iranian-Canadian model, singer, human rights activist and a former Miss World Canada. What a stylish, striking pair they make: here the couple can be seen wearing well-cut blazers en route to a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in May 2011.
Canada’s First Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald
Any dude who can rock a) a gigantic fur coat, b) kick-start a country and c) look dapper doing it all gets our vote for being one of the most fashionable people in Canada. Just look at Sir John A., our first Prime Minister. He is owning this look. And by the grin on his face, he knows it.
Not many people could steal the sartorial spotlight from Princess Diana, but Mila Mulroney — wife of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney — known for her love of shoulder pads, did just that in 1991 during a visit with Diana and Prince Charles. Look at Mila’s dress — paired with her auburn locks, its emerald colour pops. It’s an incredible look when compared to the “simple” and “basic” shades her guests and husband are wearing.
MP Rona Ambrose
A woman in a powersuit means business, and Rona Ambrose, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services for Canada, apparently wants to do just that. This grey suit — and many of the others she consistently wears — fits her perfectly and screams, “I am woman.” She’s strong, powerful and confident, and it shows in her wardrobe.
NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau
This 27-year-old NDP MP caused an uproar after being elected to Parliament in the 2011 federal election. Significant concerns were raised about her proficiency in French, her age, her looks and a trip she took to Las Vegas during the election campaign. But as a young and fashionable woman in Parliament, we’re willing to give Brosseau a bit of a break. We’re looking forward to seeing what she brings to the House of Commons, in terms of her political views and fashion statements.
Belinda Stronach As A Blond
Former MP Belinda Stronach is easily one of the most prominent female figures in Canada. She’s photographed everywhere — at parties, at events, while doing her groceries. And there’s a good reason for that: she’s stunning. Her natural blond locks and her huge smile make her seem friendly and approachable — she’s also a favourite of Canadian designers, often sitting front row at Toronto Fashion Week.
Belinda Stronach With Brown Hair
As a sartorially smart woman, we were confounded by Stronach’s choice to dye her blond locks brown. This hair hue make the naturally stunning lady look washed-out. Some people are just better off blond.