Val Dayís Fashion Tips

An exclusive interview with Valorie Day, conducted by her daughter-in-law,
Julianna Day.

One of the most photographed women in Canadian politics today is Valorie Day.† Her appearances across the country have increased dramatically since husband Stockwell Day declared his candidacy for the top post of the official opposition party, the Canadian Alliance, for another term.† Valorie, or ďValĒ as friends and family call her, has become one of the most recognized faces in the country. As such, her personal appearance must always be fresh, current and appropriate no matter what the occasion.† I recently had the opportunity to discuss her keen fashion sense.

Valorie Day and her granddaughter, Jayce.

As we meet for the interview, Valorie looks great as usual despite her crazy schedule and having just arrived by plane from Vancouver (she travels to as many five cities in one day).† Tall, elegant and blond, Val is wearing a long black skirt, a three-quarter length black crepe jacket and a light blue sweater to complement her blue eyes.

What are your "staple" clothing pieces, the things you simply canít leave home without?

I have a basic black crepe suit that I have had for about five years.† I find it is my favorite article of clothing because I can dress it up or dress it down; it travels and it doesnít wrinkle so I can take it out and put it on quickly and I feel it always looks presentable.

What do you wear when you donít know what to wear?

I think I would wear the article that I just mentioned with a dressier top and a nice piece of jewelry.

Would you dress up rather than dress down if you donít know what to wear?

Yes.† One time I wasnít given the right information for a fairly dressy occasion, and I wore a cotton dress. There were even women in ball gowns!† All night I felt like I wanted to explain why I had the wrong thing on.† So I learned that youíre always better off dressing up rather than dressing down.† Itís easy to remove a few pieces of jewelry or a jacket if you need to look a little more casual.

What are some of your favorite places to shop?

Well, I am a great ďsale girlĒ, so I like finding good buys. Over the years I have learned what styles suit my body shape. What suits one person will not suit everyone. Iím tall and short-waisted so I know certain styles work better for me.† I donít have one favorite store, but I love sale shopping.

Most of us are on a budget. Do you have advice for someone with limited funds?

When you have limited funds and you want a good piece of clothing, you can sometimes find a beautiful suit in a consignment store. You may have to pay $100, but it would probably be $500 regular.† I have found a few articles that way. I enjoy going to the mall and Dots and Winners. Winners is one of my favorite stores because it has good buys and I can find things for everyone in my family. Often I will buy things at the end of the season that I canít wear until next year because I know Iíll still like it. Rather than paying $100, I might get it for $50.

How do you maintain a sharp, professional appearance even after being on the road and sleeping in hotels so much?

When weíre traveling extensively, I have a rule: I always hang everything up immediately. I press everything before I go to bed so I wonít have any surprises in the morning.

When packing Iíll use the plastic from the dry cleaners and wrap things in between layers for cushioning.

I never pack thicker or heavier wools. I try to pack lighter weight crepes and other fabrics that have a bit of movement to them. I find they donít wrinkle as badly.

What are your days like right now?

Iím very busy because we are traveling from one end of Canada to the other. We have meetings in up to five cities in a day.

How do you dress for so many different functions?

When I get up in the morning, I make sure Iím dressed in something that will last the whole day for all occasions: for a breakfast, a lunch and a rally. I wear suits most of the time. I like a two-piece suit. I can dress it up or dress it down; I can open the jacket to make it look a little more casual. My favorite pieces of jewelry are pearls and pearl earrings Ė they can dress things up.

What functions do you have to dress for on a regular basis?

Iím always going to banquets and fundraisers. So I usually wear business or semi-formal. For dressier occasions I wear long skirts or dresses.

So you like to shop!

(We both laugh because Val is a renowned power-shopper)

Iím a girl Ė I love to shop!† When the seasons are changing, Iíll take a walk through the mall. I love to get an idea of whatís coming in for the season, what the colors are, what the styles seem to be Ė if itís the straighter skirt or longer, stripes, flowers, prints. Once I establish in my mind the new styles, it helps me keep my eye out for something that appeals to me. I find window-shopping gives me an idea of what I want.† I also like to compare.

What would you suggest to someone who wants to spice up her wardrobe a little?

I would suggest jewelry. Sometimes I just put on a new broach or necklace and earrings that are a different color. Iíve been wearing a few different broaches lately and it always surprises me how many people will comment how much they like a particular broach.† You can get costume jewelry at any of the department stores, usually for under $10.

This summer I think there will be a lot of red, white and black and a lot of stripes. So Iíd suggest adding a new top to wear with a skirt or pants that you already have Ė this can change your whole look. Sometimes I like scarves too, for a change.

Thank you for your time Val and good luck with the election. Iím sure now that you have shared this great advice, people will be watching television on election night to see what youíre wearing.

ďItís been my pleasure. Iíll try not to let you down,Ē she says with a smile.

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