Female Leaders' Style: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

First thing first, I don’t mean to go political in this series. I immediately remove every politics related comment. Also, what I write in these posts might not be right in terms of protocol. Maybe they dress how they dress because it has some kind of message. I don’t know and it’s not what the series is about.
The idea for this series comes from a book that I just came across yesterday. It’s Read my Pins by Madeleine Albright. Long story short, the book basically goes through Albright’s entire carreer and shows it from a very unusual angle – her brooches. I know, right? What do brooches have to do with politics? As it turned out, a lot. Each pin Albright used over the years had a message, symbolized something and was carefully chosen. So I wondered – do every female politician use such tricks?
I chose influential, successful female leaders whose sense of style and the message they might mean to symbolize I will analyze each week. For the first week, I chose the 8th Chancellor of Germany, the 57 years old Angela Merkel.

Merkel’s style is very typical. Ask anyone how Merkel dresses, they’ll know immediately. She always wears suits, round neck tops and huge scarfs. Her style is not feminine at all, the only signs showing she’s actually a lady are her pearls she’s frequently wearing.
I see a huge problem with Frau Merkel’s style right away: high cut tops. Let’s face it, her body shape falls into the spoon cathegory, she’s short and got extremely short neck. Short neck is the key here, she’s doing the worst at correcting this flaw of hers. She’s wearing suits, which is a good thing, those alone would work well with her neck, especially with special upturned collars sometimes. A suit’s V-neck could make her neck look longer and thinner – but she destroys this vision by putting on a round neck top under the suit each and every time. A round neck top breaks the neckline and makes everyone’s neck shorter. By everyone, I mean even that girl with the longest neck ever. Also, her pearls are exactly parallel with the round neckline, only they’re above, which of course doesn’t help either. Neither do scarfs, though the Chancellor probably wears them to hide her neck.

In 2006, Merkel’s style proven to be so inspirational to Wolfgang Joop, he’s dedicated a line from his fall/winter collection to Merkel. He described Merkel’s style as strong and fearless, which is probably just the message she’s trying to convey. I believe her masculine taste in fashion mean to represent power and strength indeed and I’m sure the message is coming through, but in 2009, the same designer advised her to show more skin – by which he probably meant the same thing I’d suggest, although in 2008 Merkel already made a mistake with low-cut tops: she showed too much cleavage in an evening dress in the opera in Norway. The media liked the story so much even the government spokesman commented it.

All in all I’d definitely recommend wearing V-neck tops, upturned collars and long necklaces to Frau Merkel. Also, wearing long earrings could do wonders to her neck, though I’m not sure it’d be entirelly appropriate. The three pieces below would look impeccable put together on her, though of course the t-shirt alone seems to be a weird choice for a country’s leader.

Now, what do you think? How would you dress Merkel up? Comment or share your Polyvore choices with us!
Next week I’ll analyze Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina.


  1. I think she needs a winter coat which cinches at the waist then flares to the knee and I think she needs a modest but killer red dress and matching lipstick.


  2. silversheep2/24/11, 5:00 PM

    I really liked this writing (as well), I look forward to the next :)

  3. First, I don't know why you say that she showed too much cleavage when she wore the evening gown to the opening of the Oslo Opera (a most formal, bling bling event!). She has quite lovely, soft looking bosoms (and I say that as a similarly large bosomed middle age woman) and very fine skin.

    You're right about the high, rounded tops. Long lapelled blouses under her jackets - which should also be nipped in a little to try and give the illusion of more waist (another problem I suffer) would be better and her trousers should be longer - a little more flared at the bottom and worn with higher heels. More solid, dark colour trouser suits would look better too. Alas, poor Angela is either simply not interested in clothes, or I suspect, just too busy to give too much time to getting the look right every time.

  4. One other thing - cross over tops would be more flattering too. Wish there was a cross over top emporium where I live - I'd buy out their stock every season and then buy shares!

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