I’ve got to add my apoplectic outrage to that of The Other Charlotte at Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan’s obviously politicized slam at the attire that Jane Sullivan Roberts and children Jack and Josie wore on Monday to President Bush’s announcement that paterfamilias John R. Roberts was his choice for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here is Givhan’s nastiest dig at Jane Roberts’s choice of a pink summer suit for herself (worn with hose and pumps), a blue seersucker short-pants suit with saddle shoes for Jack and a demure yellow dress with Mary Janes for Josie:

“His wife and children stood before the cameras, groomed and glossy in pastel hues — like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers.”

I don’t even know where to start on this. This was the White House and this was July in Washington, D.C., where temperatures and humidities reach the sauna-bath 90s. The Robertses were, in fact, perfectly attired in dressy pastels for the highly solemn summer occasion in which they participated–although Givhan for some reason thinks the children should have worn something from Gap Kids more suitable for working the Playstation2. 

Givhan faults the Robertses for imitating the offspring of John F. Kennedy (click here to see John-John and Caroline at their father’s funeral). Sorry, but the Robertses couldn’t have picked a better model. Jackie Kennedy had exquisite taste and she knew how to dress both herself and her children appropriately for both official and non-official occasions (click here and here and scroll around). Necco wafers indeed.

This is the same Robin Givhan who faulted Dick Cheney in January for not dressing formally enough for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp at Auschwitz. Here is the Associated Press?s report on what Givhan said:

“Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan described Cheney’s look at the sober and dignified 60th anniversary service as ‘the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.”

“‘Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood,? Givhan wrote in yesterday’s Post, also mocking Cheney’s knit ski cap embroidered with the words ?Staff 2001? and his brown hiking boots.”

I happened to agree with Givhan about Cheney’s attire on that occasion. But Robin, you can’t have it both ways.

With Robin Givhan, the rule seems to be: If you’re a Republican, there’s always something wrong with the way you look. Michelle Malkin is equally livid and provides this link to a list of Robin’s slams at Kathryn Harris and John Bolton–and this link to the reliably nasty mockery of the Roberts kids among our leftish brethren at the Daily Kos.

At least Givhan agrees that flip-flops are not appropriate attire when visiting the White House. We’ll grant her that much sense.