FASHION

Political Fashion: The Good, The Bad and the Messy

Flubbed or flawless? Which 2020 political candidate needs a second look?

AP Photo/ Jessica Hill
GREY Journal

Remember Hillary’s pantsuits?

Collage of Hillary Clinton in pantsuits.
Collage of Hillary Clinton in pantsuits. Photo courtesy of Medium.

What about that time Ronald Reagan was noted as the worst dressed man in politics?

Ronald Reagan wearing denim jacket and jeans standing next to Nancy Reagan.
Nancy Reagan (left) and Ronald Reagan (right) wearing denim jacket and jeans. Photo courtesy of Reagan Library.

And who can forget the tan suit that sent shockwaves of controversy through the roof?

Illustration of Barack Obama in tan suit.
Illustration of Barack Obama in tan suit. Photo courtesy of Reddit.

Not to be outdone by…himself, Barack Obama also solidified the POTUS fashion bromance with former Vice President and 2020 Presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama wearing similar blue suits.
Joe Biden (left) and Barack Obama (right) wearing similar blue suits. Photo courtesy of Scholastic
Barack Obama and Joe Biden wearing matching suits with green ties.
Barack Obama (left) and Joe Biden (right) wearing matching suits with green ties. Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair.

What our politicians wear and how they wear it is just as important as their policy positions. If “clothes make the man (or woman),” they also make (or break) the political candidate. Clothes convey trustworthiness and sincerity to voters. The selections are deliberate. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and at other times it is a hot mess!

This year, the Democrats have 21 candidates, with many more still considering a run; Republicans have two, including the current President. Here are five of the 2020 candidates in their best, worst, or messiest fashions:

Sen. Kamala Harris: Black Girl Magic (D)

Kamala Harris in black dress.
Kamala Harris in black dress. Photo courtesy of Zimbio

Sen. Cory Booker: ‘Attention Kmart Shoppers!’ (D)

Cory Booker in red vest
Cory Booker in red vest

William F. Weld: The Silver Fox with a Rubik’s Cube Fetish (R)

William F. Weld wearing gray suit with colorful checkered tie.
William F. Weld wearing gray suit with colorful checkered tie. Photo courtesy of Boston Globe.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: He Never Met a Brush He Liked (I or D, he can’t decide)

Bernie Sanders with messy hair.
Bernie Sanders with messy hair. Photo courtesy of Freedom Works

2nd Congressional District for Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D): Behind in the Polls, But Best in Show

Tulsi Gabbard wearing red blazer
Tulsi Gabbard wearing red blazer. Photo courtesy of Tulsi 2020

Not your favorites? Have a different list of best, worst, and messy? Let us know down in the comments.

Aisha K. Staggers
Aisha K. Staggers is a writer of culture, politics, music and Prince. She is the featured weekly guest on The Dr Vibe Show's "Staggers' State of Things," as a political analyst and social commentator. Aisha is the creator and co-host of the internationally syndicated "All Our Own Show," a weekly talk program for Generation X Women of Color. She is the creator of the "Soul Since '74" blog on Medium and will launch the syndicated blog and podcast series, "For Colored Girls," this spring.

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