Shannen Findlay

Beauty & Style

The one piece of fashion advice Julie Bishop ignored in parliament

Julie Bishop has gone through a fashion evolution over the last two decades, swapping out her patterned blazers, brooches and pearls for designer power suits, colourful dresses and high pumps.

In that time, the soon-to-be retired politician has been more than open about her changing identity and opened up to Mia Freedman on Mamamia's No Filter podcast and says her style shift has been an integral part of reclaiming herself.

“When I was first appointed to the ministry [in 2003], I was asked to be the Minister for Ageing. And one of the Prime Minister’s senior advisors rang me and said, ‘Julie, take this the right way, but forget the Armani suits and forget the corporate look.

“You’re the Minister for Ageing, you’re going into aged-care homes; you’ve got to dress appropriately.’

“I said, ‘What? You mean like cardigans?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, more prints, more colour… just not corporate.’

“So you’ll see me, as Minister for Ageing, looking like they expected me to look. And then I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Don’t let other people define who you are, what you wear. Be authentic.’

“And so I just decided one day, ‘I’ve had enough of that. I’m going to dress the way I want to dress.'”

The former minister has no apologies about her love of fashion either, going out of her way to support local Australian designers like Rachel Gilbert.

“I don't apologise for it," she said. "It's who I am, and if you want authentic politicians, you've just got to accept the fact that I love fashion. I always have, and I always will.”

Scroll through the gallery above to see some of Bishop's fashion style during her time in politics. 

What do you think of Julie Bishop's statement fashion style while she was in politics? Tell us in the comments below.