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Paper Monitor

11:18 UK time, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

While one might not expect a fashion pundit to wear a donkey jacket herself, surely someone whose life revolves around what to wear when, and how, should be able to correctly identify one.

thatsnotadonkeyjacket.jpgBut the Daily Mail's Liz Jones falsely accuses Culture Secretary Andy Burnham of wearing one to the unveiling of the Queen Mother's statue. And then she goes on to repeat the fallacy that Michael Foot wore one to lay a remembrance wreath in 1982.

But Mr Burnham's jacket is quite clearly a short overcoat, or "a perfectly good jacket", as Michael Foot once said in defence of his own outer garment.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie are also flamed for wearing too-short skirts. "Argh! Mini skirts on posh occasions do not work, nor do giant polka dots, or ruching, or velvet, especially not all at once."

But the pair are decked out in sombre shades of navy and regal purple, which is more than Ms Jones can bring herself to say about the hapless Marie-France Burnham, wife of that's-not-a-donkey-jacket Andy.

Her red, white and pink outfit brings a touch of spring to the occasion - perhaps a little more than February calls for - and the Mail punishes this style slip-up by casting her into the inner ring of the seventh circle of fashion hell.

This involves being plastered across not just the front page but an inside double-page spread, both with virtually identical headlines:
"A sombre tribute to the Queen Mum... and the Labour wife who got it SO wrong" - page one
"The woman who got it SO wrong - At a sombre unveiling of a statue of the Queen Mum, one New Labour wife stands out like a sore thumb" - pages 10 and 11

Perhaps she can take some cheer from the Daily Express, which opines that "only Princess Beatrice looked a little out of place, teetering on five-inch heels..."

And while the Daily Telegraph makes no mention of anybody's outfit, its art critic points out the Queen Mum's own fondness for large pink hats.

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