Chic, sexy, but were those skinny jeans a touch too casual, Sam?

Chic, sexy, but were those skinny jeans a touch too casual, Sam The jeans might have been Topshop — the smart money is on the Moto Baxter, in indigo, 40Pair of 'Vamp' shoes from Zara, high heels in black, nude and red, 39.99
Green top with a white collar from Cos

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UPDATED:

23:58 GMT, 8 October 2012

Let the policy wonks at the Conservative Party conference argue about deficit reduction and employees’ rights.

There are far more pressing matters to deal with, namely, can Samantha Cameron really get away with turning up to conference . . . in a pair of skinny jeans

We all know the Tories want to appear friendly, approachable, modern and not remotely nasty, so animal fur, Chanel suits, big jewellery and other Cruella de Vil garb obviously had to stay parked in the back of the wardrobe.

Question: Can Samantha Cameron really get away with turning up to conference... in a pair of skinny jeans

Question: Can Samantha Cameron really get away with turning up to conference… in a pair of skinny jeans

 Samantha and David Cameron arrive at the convention centre . Conservative Party Conference

 Samantha and David Cameron arrive at the convention centre . Conservative Party Conference

To be fair to Sam, there were mitigating factors. She was in Birmingham. It was Sunday. The Prime Minister was doing his bit already, trussed up in his regulation suit, white shirt and shiny blue tie

But won’t Mrs Blue Rinse from the
Shires, stalwart of party activism and devotee of traditional values,
not have felt a little shiver of disapproval at the sight of the Prime
Minster’s wife in denim, the most democratic, and dare we say, plebeian,
fabric of all

To
be fair to Sam, there were mitigating factors. She was in Birmingham.
It was Sunday. The Prime Minister was doing his bit already, trussed up
in his regulation suit, white shirt and shiny blue tie.

And
this certainly wasn’t a ‘conference appearance’ proper — like that
slightly embarrassing, cultish moment when the wife of the leader joins
him on stage at the end of his speech, and everyone checks out the
awkwardness of their embrace.

But not even Cherie Blair at her most subversive, let alone the dutiful Norma Major or Sarah Brown, ever wore jeans in front of the assembled hordes of paparazzi at a conference.

Perhaps Sam is trying to take the competitive conference dressing thing that has sprung up among the leaders wives here, and in the U.S., down a notch

Perhaps Sam is trying to take the competitive conference dressing thing that has sprung up among the leaders wives here, and in the U.S., down a notch

Perhaps Sam is trying to take the
competitive conference dressing thing that has sprung up among the
leaders’ wives here, and in the U.S., down a notch

However, closer inspection suggests the look was more artfully put together than at first glance.

The
jeans might have been Topshop — the smart money is on the Moto Baxter,
in indigo, 40, and a fashion favourite because they are skinny but not
overtly so — but they were a dark and crisp pair. New enough not to look
like they’d rather be at home watching telly.

The
chatelaine of Chequers perked them up with a pair of ‘Vamp’ shoes from
Zara, high heels in black, nude and red, 39.99, and a green top with a
white collar from Cos.

No one can argue with a suit, but some out-of-towners will never view a pair of jeans as anything but scruff-wear, even if they are teamed with a pair of glamorous heels

No one can argue with a suit, but some out-of-towners will never view a pair of jeans as anything but scruff-wear, even if they are teamed with a pair of glamorous heels

These three choices — Philip Green’s mostly British Topshop, Spanish Zara and Scandinavian Cos — are canny High Street
choices. For all the wishful thinking in the fashion world, the
‘struggling middle’ rather likes seeing its politicians’ wives in
clothes it can afford.

But jeans and high heels is a
particularly urban look, a metropolitan fudge of comfort and effort,
that may not translate to the grass roots.

American
magazine Town and Country has noted that together the Camerons exude
‘modern London posh’, where dark denim and interesting shoes are a
uniform for the women, and the men generally stick to a plainish suit —
suggesting their minds are on more important things than their clothes.

Keeping it casual: David Cameron and Samantha arrive at the Hyatt Hotel prior to the start of the conference

Keeping it casual: David Cameron and Samantha arrive at the Hyatt Hotel prior to the start of the conference

No
one can argue with a suit, but some out-of-towners will never view a
pair of jeans as anything but scruff-wear, even if they are teamed with a
pair of glamorous heels.

And even in the city this new multi-purpose uniform of the metropolitan elite has its limits. There are still many occasions — such as on the stage in that hall tomorrow, at weddings, christenings, funerals, court appearances and job interviews — when such a casual look simply doesn’t work.

Being tall and Matt Roberts-trained slender, Sam looks extremely elegant in jeans and heels. Most political wives couldn’t get away with it.

Michelle Obama, for example, always chooses interesting clothes and has an enviously statuesque figure, but the two times she has worn ‘designer’ jeans — a spray-on pair by Helmut Lang and a pair by Alexander Wang that appeared to have been spattered with paint — she got mixed reviews.

The first pair looked like she’d never get them off.

Fortunately, she did, because it wasn’t a look that worked for her.

Her current rival, Ann Romney, unashamedly favours 2,000 Oscar de la Renta numbers, but as her husband is the staunch defender of the one per cent that make up America’s wealthiest citizens, we are unlikely to see her attempting proletariat denim anyway.

While Sam’s jeans might be considered a metaphor for the way the Tories are currently viewed: urban, smart, divisive and slightly laid-back, the PM’s wife needs to be careful not to alienate the ladies and gents of the Shires — the bedrock of the party.

So come the big speech tomorrow, don’t expect to see her in jeans. Almost certainly they will be supplanted by a more formal ensemble.