Let me start by saying that you should not choose who to vote for based on what they are wearing because there are obviously far more important issues. However, there is no denying that dress speaks volumes about a person.
I am currently taking CRS 321, The Social Psychology of Dress in the Consumer Apparel and Retail Studies department. In the first class session we discussed that dress is more than apparel, but actually includes “any intentional modification of the body and/or supplements added to the body,” according Roach-Higgins. In other words, everything that you do to get ready in the morning — brushing your teeth, attaching your toupee, applying cologne — in addition to actually putting on clothes, is a part of dress.
With that said, I am going to tell you why the seemingly meaningless attire of the political candidates actually means something. I am going to save Hillary Clinton for last because that woman’s wardrobe has been analyzed to no end long before she became a presidential candidate, so it’s only fair that I talk about the male candidates first.
Ted Cruz is probably among the worst dressed of the candidates. I’m not sure what I dislike more: the ill-fitting suits, the dress shirts that he sports during his campaign speeches, or his awful casual get-up of a flannel tucked into his jeans topped with another ill-fitted jacket, this time in leather.
His workwear could be tolerable if he purchased dress shirts that fit and, if that wasn’t possible, spent the extra few dollars to make the sleeves of his shirt not billow or hang off of his arms.
As for his casualwear, he would look 10 times better if he wore an untucked, neutral colored button-down shirt — not a flannel — a leather jacket that again, does not fall off of his arms, with dark wash jeans.
Marco Rubio’s attire, for the most part, does not stray far from the typical formula of a suit with a red tie. There was the one time that he tried to be fashionable with heeled Chelsea boots that warranted the attention of the New York Times, GQ magazine and numerous other publications as well as fellow politicians, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul. The problem with Rubio’s trendy boots is that they looked completely out of place on him, which is probably why the world mocked his attempt at being fashionable. He was trying to hard, really. The boots are made by Florsheim and cost around $135, if you were curious.
I can’t talk about ill-fitting suits on politicians without mentioning Bernie Sanders’ blazer that he claims to own only one of. At his age, I imagine that he probably has not purchased a blazer in quite some time and does not have plans to purchase one any time soon. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is known to be friends with designers Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen and the late Oscar de la Renta who dressed Clinton on several occasions. While she is known more for her monochromatic pantsuits in various colors, she has ventured out in ladylike, printed coats that push the higher end of the best dressed spectrum.
Donald Trump should very well be the best dressed candidate considering he is the only customer of his clothing line that was pulled from Macy’s after his racist comments. Unfortunately, his truly awful toupee and artificially tanned skin overshadow what would be a tolerable wardrobe choice.