The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Creators.


Meghan Markle, the divorcee from Los Angeles now engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, is a lovely woman. But though the actress has ennobled herself as an advocate for women, she lives in the public eye as a character on “Suits.”

That’s unfortunate, because the cheesy TV series could serve as a primer on how women undermine their careers by the way they dress. Oh, there are other forces working against them in male-dominated industries, but how women present themselves should be an easy hurdle to cross.

“Suits” refers to the traditional business armor worn by the go-getters at a fictional high-style law firm. It’s about immaculate tailoring that hides body parts and, with it, physical imperfections. Suits speak of power.

In “Suits,” every man wears a suit to the office, but the women rarely do. They’re usually poured into tight-fitting dresses or, like Markle’s character, in snug blouses with buttons straining to hold it all together. Every female rear end is accentuated for male inspection.

There’s a gender issue in “Suits,” and it isn’t sexual harassment. By the way, sexual harassment is inexcusable no matter what the woman is wearing.

The issue is gravitas, or lack of it on the part of the women. The female characters are smart and tough, but their dress undermines these qualities. Suits let the men gracefully go gray, put on pounds and celebrate their 45th birthdays. The women without them disappear.

The men get the macho lines — “Start making us some real money, or go back to being a lawyer” — while the women tend to converse with kittenish innuendo. The contrast holds together because the women are dressed for submission.

That women sexualize themselves against their professional interests can be largely blamed on vendors of fashion. The last thing the industry wants is for working women to keep five good suits in their closet and call it a day — as many male executives do. Women headed that way in the 1970s and ’80s, but they had to be stopped. That’s why fashion executives continue to mock women’s suits as frumpy.

In a recent article titled “Shake Up Your Work Look,” Alison Loehnis, the head of Net-a-Porter, bashes pantsuits for women. In the typical language of phony empowerment, she urges women to “feel secure in making bold statements.”

“These Gianvito Rossi sandals are my perfect shoes,” Loehnis says of an $815 pair with 4-inch heels and an ankle strap suggestive of bondage. This was in The Wall Street Journal, of all places.

In “Suits,” the men stride across the office in flat footwear. The women mince in spike heels. Forget about even 2-inchers. No, the women in “Suits” must wear 3- or 4-inch stilettos.

Some bizarro manipulation of female opinion has turned spike heels into a symbol of power. Actually, they speak of immobility. They do make the butt look larger — also the breasts by forcing the back to arch. If that’s what a woman wants, there she has it. If she seeks to be noted for her smarts, she might reconsider.

The dresses on “Suits” are not trashy. They tend toward expensive European labels and fine fabrics. Only the tight fit makes them vulgar. Some of the sleeveless shift dresses worn in “Suits” would look fine at an outdoor cocktail party. But consider: How many naked male biceps have you seen in the executive suite?

As a royal family member in the making, Markle is presenting herself in a chic but dignified manner with shoes one can walk in. May she become an example to fashion victims everywhere. The female royals know all about tailored suits.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at



Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Holocaust Memorial Group Excoriates RFK Jr Over Nazi Anti-Vax Rhetoric

Image via screengrab

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. continued to tarnish his family’s name with a speech at the anti-vaccine rally in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. Kennedy, who is suing Daily Kos over a user post reporting on his participation in an anti-mask rally in Germany that was organized and attended by Nazis, used Sunday’s high-profile (if not especially well-attended) event to … compare vaccination mandates to the Holocaust while spewing out a word salad of conspiracy theories.

“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did. I visited in 1962 East Germany with my father, and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped. So it was possible. Many died [inaudible], but it was possible,” Kennedy said to what The Washington Post described as a crowd that had begun drifting away. “Today, the mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so none of us can run and none of us can hide. Within five years, we’re going to see 415,000 low-orbit satellites. Bill Gates said his 65,000 satellites alone will be able to look at every square-inch of the planet 24 hours a day. They’re putting in 5G to harvest our data and control our behavior. Digital currency that will allow them to punish us from a distance and cut off our food supply.”

Keep reading... Show less

Gregg Popovich with President Barack Obama, left

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The fact that not everyone in Texas is a far-right Republican was evident on Sunday, January 23, when San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was interviewed by reporters and spoke his mind about voting rights — slamming not only Republicans, but also, two centrist Democrats: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Before the Spurs’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers — the basketball team known for everyone from Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr. J., to Allen Iverson — the 72-year-old Popovich told reporters:

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}