Same suit – different day.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart wore the same suit to council meetings during a fifteen-month period to illustrate a point in differences between men’s and women’s clothing.
“It was an off-the-rack suit, straight-forward suit. I wore it to every council meeting, every committee meeting…no one noticed.”
How did it make him feel?
“It seems as though society – both men and women in society – are much more prone to comment on the clothing of females in public positions, be they newscasters or politicians.”
What does he hope people take away from his fifteen-month experience?
“Listen to what people have to say. Let’s not treat women differently than we treat men in the same role.”
Double standard for men and women in public roles
Stewart says he chose to do this after an Australian news anchor expressed disappointment that his female co-anchor was being criticized for her clothing.
In November 2014 the story of the Australian news anchor Karl Stefanovic made international headlines after he revealed that he’d worn the same suit for a year.
SEE the story here:
Stewart decided to take on the same challenge
In response to that story, Stewart wrote that he’s heard women express concern about not having the wardrobe to participate in politics.
“Over the past decade, during my time on City Council, I’ve tried to encourage a variety of candidates to run for elected office in local government – business leaders, leaders of organizations, hockey/soccer/softball coaches…and I’m often told by women that politics isn’t for them, that the job isn’t designed for women to participate. And I’ve heard them cite a wide variety of reasons — time commitments, time away from family, the “nastiness” of politics, etc. And more than a few of them have cited wardrobe. “I simply don’t have enough clothes to go to the number of fundraisers, galas and events that an MLA or Council member is expected to go to.” I’ve never heard that from a man. A male politician could attend a year’s worth of events in a single dark suit, and I’d bet my seldom-used tuxedo that nobody would notice.”