Kathleen Wynne is the first female premier of Ontario and, most would concede regardless of political affiliation, a bright and accomplished woman.
Yet, it seems her fashion decisions continue to provide fodder for journalists.
The Toronto Sun’s Christina Blizzard was criticized Saturday for penning a column of more than 700 words dedicated entirely to Wynne’s recent fashion decisions.
Blizzard suggested that changes to Wynne’s style — specifically, the appearance of more skirts and dresses in lieu of pantsuits — suggest the premier is softening her image and turning herself into a "giddy, girly butterfly."
Wynne told the columnist she hasn’t undergone an image makeover but is merely transitioning into her summer wardrobe which apparently includes plenty of dresses and cotton skirts.
Blizzard even consulted with an image consultant about what kind of changes Wynne should make to her style.
From the column:
And while power colours are blue and grey, Wynne should stay away from them, because they’re cold colours and she has warm colouring. She should stick with brick red.
Shallow? I think not. On royal tours, the most important e-mail for reporters is the one telling them what the Queen or the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing that day.
One more thing.
How long do you think those unflattering, horn-rimmed glasses will last?
Just a thought.
The column was promptly mocked on Twitter, and called shallow and sexist. You can see some of the reactions in the slideshow below.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Wynne has faced questions about her sartorial decisions. In February, shortly after she was sworn in as premier, a producer from a popular Toronto radio show was quick to ask about her penchant for pantsuits.
"You're an absolute lover of the pantsuit, how will you win us over in the fashion department? Will you mix things up a bit or is the pantsuit your thing?" wondered Kiss 92.5’s Maurie Sherman.
"I have skirts," Wynne replied.
"Prove it!" Sherman shot back.
"I just thought sitting at the front there I would wear pants today ... It's probably not a question that you would be asking a man were he standing in this position. But I'm happy to share with you my sartorial choices over the coming weeks," she said.
And at the time, perhaps ironically, Blizzard dedicated an entire column to the "fawning" question, which she said “made professional reporters cringe.”
"Here we are, tedious reporters worrying about boring stuff like whether kids will get extra-curriculars in school, when we really should be worrying about the important stuff — like what the premier’s wearing," she wrote.
What a difference a few months makes.
Of course, Wynne probably has more important things on her mind this week than what people are saying about her clothes.
Former Ontario education minister Laurel Broten, who was at the centre of a bitter battle with the province's teachers over wage freeze legislation, announced her resignation from provincial politics Sunday, opening up a fourth Liberal-held seat in the legislature.
The premier announced she would take on Broten’s intergovernmental affairs portfolio herself.
Wynne, who is Canada’s only openly-gay premier, will also make history later this month when she becomes the first sitting premier to march in Toronto's annual gay pride parade.
With files from The Canadian Press