Prominent Conservative Party politicians often divide pubic opinion in the UK. Like the country’s cult-favorite spread Marmite, you either love them or hate them. What is not normal is for a Tory “big beast” to have an on-point, frolicsome sense of fashion. Esther McVey, at least in terms of style, defies expectations.

It was for political reasons, not fashion, that McVey made headlines most recently, however. For a few hours earlier this month it looked like Theresa May’s days as Prime Minister was over. McVey was then serving in the cabinet as the Work and Pensions Secretary, but she announced her resignation early one morning in protest over May’s proposed Brexit deal. This happened just a few minutes after the Brexit Secretary himself, Dominic Raab, had done the same.

Britain’s chattering classes braced themselves for a slew of high profile cabinet members to follow McVey and Raab to the exits. At 10am, the Prime Minister made a resolute stand in the House of Commons, however. Answering highly critical questions from MPs of all parties for over three hours, she impressed even her detractors with her defiant, indefatigable performance. By the time she had finished, the resignations had stopped and the immediate danger to May’s premiership was over.

Long before Esther McVey almost brought down the British government she has been a politician with both vocal admirers and detractors. This is partly owing to being a prominent Conservative from the Northwest of England – a region more famous for its Labour politicians. But being a Conservative in charge of the Department for Work and Pensions (which oversees the highly controversial Universal Credit scheme) made McVey an even bigger lightning-rod for anti-Tory outrage. Labour MP Dan Carden said her appointment “will put fear in the hearts of the vulnerable and disabled.”

Whatever you think of the figure Esther McVey cuts politically, you have to admire the figure she cuts fashion-wise. Here are a few of our favorite moments.

As vibrant as it gets


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Esther McVey caught everyone’s attention with this floral ensemble, proving that you can wear whatever you like and still be a boss lady. It’s not that often that female politicians dress up in bright colors and vibrant prints, but power dressing is not limited to just suits anymore.


In love with blooms


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The former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions took an affordable piece of clothing from Zara and made it look like a million bucks. McVey opted for a very simple army green elegant dress, perfect for the occasion, but to upgrade the basic ensemble, she added a pretty colorful kimono-inspired jacket. When you include the neatly styled hair and minimalist makeup, you get a complete package.


The ideal gray suit


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This grey elegant set is a classy choice with that hint of popular in it. Those black pointed boots may not be your first choice, but the Tory politico pulled them off like a pro.


Esther McVey is gorgeous in an LBD


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Little black dresses can often be a very safe fashion choice – they’ve been a woman’s best friend for nearly a century now. Esther McVey wore her upgraded version of this piece with ruching on the sleeves. The minimalist hair and makeup once again complimented the final look. Sometimes less is more – even the tiniest details can make a clothing item special.


Yellow & plaid


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You know what they say, a good coat is the best investment you can make. The former cabinet minister literally found the most fashionable winter coat ever! The striking pattern with black, white, blue, and yellow add some extra edge to the very popular plaid print. To finish off, Esther included a bold accessory, that gives a special touch to her outfit. Life is too short to settle for boring clothes – well chosen accessories take your style profile to new heights!


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