What to wear for a political debate

clinton-trump

What should the first female presidential candidate for a major political party wear to the first televised debate? Exactly what Hillary Clinton wore last night.

As the debate approached I wondered what Hillary would wear to put herself in the very best light. It’s no secret her attire has been under public scrutiny for years, and I was curious if she’d mix it up a little. No, no big “costume” change, but I believe her strategic dress last night was exactly what she needed for her goals.

Typically, men in the political arena wear dark suits with white shirt’s and their parties’ color of tie. Would Hillary go for navy or black to convey ultimate authority?

Luckily she chose red, a friendly, outgoing color. With one goal being to sway non-decided voters to her side, likeability and approachability were more important than authority. (Let’s face it, her political track record for authority speaks for itself, but I read all the time she needs to be more “likeable.”)

Red is also a color of passion and it can also raise’ blood pressure. Again, I’m sure the color choice was not made randomly. She showed her passion, but as Donald Trump was standing next to her all-evening, I’m sure she wanted to affect him as well.

Before the debate, I’d also thought perhaps Hillary could have used a few more angles, additional non-verbal messages of authority and trustworthiness; however, since she often wears a non-traditional jacket, the change from her round neck jackets might have been a little unsettling to both her and to her supporters. So again, she made a good call.

Conversely, I probably would have advised her to skip the necklace she wore. While it wasn’t distracting and barely showed, it didn’t really serve much purpose for the outfit. On the other hand, perhaps the necklace had sentimental importance and gave her added inner strength.

I would have also rather seen Hillary Clinton in heels versus the flats she wore, (to give her additional stature,) but hey…she’s 68…and after a lifetime of heels, very often flats win!

Now then, to remain a non-partisan blogger, it’s only fair I comment and analyze Donald Trump’s attire from last evening’s debate.

It goes without saying that men’s clothing is much simpler than women’s! That said, I’d be surprised if Trump’s attire hadn’t been carefully calculated as well.

Trump’s very, very dark navy blue suit was a traditional choice. While black is the ultimate power color, it would have been too extreme, too aggressive. Navy blue strikes a good balance, and navy conveys more trustworthiness than black.

A shirt any other color than white would have been an odd selection for such an important event. Honestly, I don’t track men’s clothing as much as women’s but Donald almost always wears a white shirt.

I had expected he would have worn a “republican red” tie, but instead he chose bright blue. Color psychology defines blue as calming, so perhaps that was why he opted for it. It’s a softer color than red and also the favorite color of men; so perhaps, Trump was hoping to win over male undecided voters.

While fashion certainly wasn’t the biggest issue on our candidate’s minds, there was definitely style strategy employed (by their image consultants) last night!

What a great discussion topic! Please comment or share on social media. 

 

 

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