When it came time for South Carolina gubernatorial candidate James Smith to pick a running mate in May 2018, he chose fellow Democrat and South Carolina House member Mandy Powers Norrell.
“I have found a woman who has the experience and strength of character that we need, a woman who shares our core values as South Carolinians, a woman who is ready now to serve and to lead South Carolina,” he said at the announcement.
What Smith did not say (but could have) is that he had found a running mate who also had an unusually keen sense of fashion and enough glamour to make a Kennedy blush.
As Democrats, Smith and Norrell faced an uphill battle in deep red South Carolina. They put up a good fight, and kept the race reasonably close with nearly 46% of the vote.
Norrell remains a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, where she represents her native Lancaster County. She has recently launched an impressive campaign against sexual assault, introducing nine separate bills related to the issue this session alone.
It’s not every politician that can combine headline-making legislation with an accessibly glamorous image. We are fully expecting to see Many Powers Norrell run again for higher office (possibly much higher) before too long!
Impressive as her political chops may be, it is Norrell’s sparkling fashion choices we are focusing on today. Here are five of our favorites!
Mandy Powers Norrell flaunts that 70s vibe
This state representative sure likes to play around with fashion! Mandy Powers Norrell attended a 70s-inspired gala, where she donned a beautiful multicolored design. Since the beauty is in the details, she went with hoops and a cool necklace, which both have a true 70s vibe. She completely nailed the event’s quirky theme while also looking fantastic. Bravo!
The long black gown
For big events like an Inauguration Ball, it’s hard to go wrong with black! Norrell looks mesmerizing in her fabulous black floor-length gown. We have to admit, the bold sweetheart embellished neckline really caught our eye and is very tastefully pulled off. Together with the sophisticated makeup, perfect updo, glamorous jewelry, this whole styling is a perfect 10!
We are pretty sure this lovely blue number is Norrell’s favorite dress. Is it because she loves Democratic Party blue, or does she realize it makes her look like Kate Middleton? Either way, we have to admit that it suits her for pretty much every occasion, including going to church with friends on a Sunday. Combined with her infectious smile, it’s all she needs to look superb.
Red monochrome by Mandy Powers Norrell
Okay, this dress is in Republican red, but can you blame Norrell for wearing it? The color is so vibrant, versatile and eye-catching that it provides all the drama you need in your closet. Here the state rep opted for a very classic sleeveless knee-length dress, but still managed to make it interesting because of the color selection. She also kept it very professional with a slight dose of skin-showing — completely appropriate for an evening dinner party. Since it’s a clean monochrome cut, a gorgeous pearl necklace and matching earrings help spice things up. A polished finishing touch is the patent leather heels, also in red.
A different kind of seersucker suit
The naturally cool fabric is hard to beat in a stuffy county courthouse in the heat of a Carolina summer. Seersucker is woven to have bumps on its surface, which means it never clings to your skin, and always allows air to flow easily. It also never needs ironing – another fantastic feature.
Fans of the 1980s legal drama Matlock will know this type of suit well, but Andy Griffith never carried his off his nearly this stylishly. Here Norrell sports the classic blue-and-white pinstripes the fabric is most famous for. The feminine cut of the suit is simultaneously playful and professional.