Jeff Fusco/Getty Images; Miguel/Rocstar/FAMEFLYNET Pictures
Hillary Busis
October 10, 2012 AT 09:06 PM EDT

You can take the girl out of Alaska, but you can’t take Alaska out of the girl. Unless she leaves her gubernatorial seat for a reality TV show, fades off the political map, and suddenly decides to take a stab at being a fitness guru.

What happened, Sarah Palin? Just four years ago, you were a fashion star. Even Democrats couldn’t deny your magnetism, or the way you filled out a tailored blazer. Countless Halloween costumes were inspired by your signature “Hot Librarian/HBIC” look. Were those boots and above-the-knee skirts appropriate for someone a heartbeat away from the Naval Observatory? Who cares; either way, you looked great in them.

Now, though… oof. As this photo (above, right), recently snapped in L.A., attests, you’ve apparently traded smart suits and sweepy bangs for off-the-shoulder tops and “I vant to be alone” sunglasses. From your tacky wedges to your unkempt mane, you’re starting to look like a Real Housewife — and not the classy Countess LuAnn type. (The brassy highlights and bling scream New Jersey.)

Has TV stardom and your retreat from the political sphere caused you to lose sight of your roots? Are you not as discerning when you’re not shopping with money provided by the Republican National Committee? Whatever’s going on, I want to help — because no full-grown woman should be traipsing around dressed like a Hollywood starlet on a Starbucks run.

You don’t have to limit yourself to a politician’s safe wardrobe anymore, which is a good thing. Still, your post-politics look could be a lot cleaner. Try getting your hair snipped into a sleek, shoulder-length style, for starters, and invest in a top that doesn’t look like a castoff from the Flashdance collection. Even though you’ve lost some weight, those skinny jeans seem a little young for you. A classier pair of tailored trousers would work wonders — and you’ve already proven that you can never go wrong with a basic pencil skirt. If you’re stumped, just Google yourself; there are plenty of photos out there that could serve as inspiration.

Tell us: What fashion advice would you offer Alaska’s ex-governor?

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Sarah Palin writing diet and fitness book

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