For those outside the city who may have missed it, Ms. McCray wore a degradé blue trouser suit under a navy coat by the New York designer Anni Kuan to Officer Liu’s service. In photographs of her leaving the funeral home with her husband, the trousers — the only part of the outfit that was visible — resembled faded bluejeans, thanks to that degradé effect.
Though the mayor’s office tried to set the record straight the same day, the facts were not published until two days later, by The Daily News. Ms. Kuan said in a phone interview that she believed it was important to speak out and make it clear that Ms. McCray was not being disrespectful.
On the contrary, Ms. Kuan said. The first lady must have thought she was dressing appropriately by choosing a suit and coat in somber colors — one made by a small, New York-based designer who works in the garment district and whose clothes are priced at a relatively accessible level (the jacket of Ms. McCray’s suit is currently on sale for $316 on Ms. Kuan’s website; the trousers, $164).
Does it put us on the slippery slope of personality erasure, as it could mean all public figures live in such fear of mistaken sartorial semiology, they resort to only the blandest styles, and we find ourselves in a uniform world of plain dark suits? Possibly (see: male politicians).
Answer: Um, yes–which is a good thing.
Here are some funeral-wear tips for Chirlane McCray:
Navy blue is not a “somber” color. Black is somber. Dark gray is somber. Those are the only two colors that are appropriate for a funeral.
Pants are not appropriate attire for a woman attending a funeral. They’re too informal-looking. You want to wear a dress. Especially if you’re the first lady of a major city, and your husband is being castigated for giving aid and comfort to people who voiced their desire for more dead cops.
A funeral is not an appropriate occasion to showcase a designer you happen to like. Also, It’s not an appropriate occasion to make a statement, show off your flair for dressing well on a $500 budget, or demonstrate to the world how cool you are.
Finally, if your pants look just like faded blue jeans, you might as well be wearing faded blue jeans. You look that bad.
I happen to like McCray’s outfit. It’s perfect for…a stroll with her husband through Central Park.