Style Statements: Understanding the Fashion of the 2020 Presidential Candidates

With a little over a year left until the 2020 Presidential elections, it’s certainly beginning to take center stage. While staying informed on the latest news in the race is extremely important, constantly seeing headlines about the same matters can get boring.

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A few weeks ago, Laguna Pearl conducted an especially interesting study that explored a unique aspect of the 2020 election—candidates’ fashion and style. Beyond covering wardrobe favorites for candidates including Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, the article also covered the messages that candidates are expressing through their fashion choices. Dr. Carolyn Mair, a behavioral psychologist and author of The Psychology of Fashion, was asked to take a closer look as an expert source.

Her findings provide interesting information about how everything from colors to accessories is strategically chosen to portray candidates’ personalities and gain a competitive edge. 

So, what does Donald Trump’s signature blue suit and red tie combination say about him? And what role do Elizabeth Warren’s understated pearl earrings play in how she wants to be perceived? Below, we cover some of the main points of the report for each candidate.

Donald Trump

Considering that Trump has been in the spotlight for the past few years, his style is instantly recognizable. As alluded above, Trump commonly opts for expensive, luxurious blue suits that are perfectly tailored. In addition, he often pairs his blue suits with a bright red tie. As told by Mair, the red represents “power” while the blue symbolizes “confidence and trust.” 

Elizabeth Warren 

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Through her fashion choices, Elizabeth Warren is trying to show voters her authenticity but also grab their attention. She does this by wearing bright colors in a more casual style. Her smaller pearl earrings, which she has been seen wearing regularly, give constituents a sense of familiarity that Warren wants them to feel to gain their trust. 

Joe Biden 

Joe Biden fans love him because they feel he is relatable and approachable—two things that he certainly channels in his style. Based on previous outfits that we’ve seen, it’s apparent that Joe Biden isn’t afraid to make use of many different types of clothing and accessories. Whether it’s a sleek shirt-and-tie combo, or a more casual shirt with a leather jacket and a baseball cap, Biden can pull off a wide range of looks that show people he’s “in touch with the common people.”

Kamala Harris

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When it comes to Kamala Harris’ style, Mair aptly describes it as “smart-casual.” However, unlike Elizabeth Warren who has her trusty pair of subtle pearl earrings, Harris prefers jewelry that is a bit bolder to capture attention. For example, Harris wore a larger black pearl necklace at the Democratic presidential debate in August. That said, her jewelry choices are never over-the-top and instead create a polished appearance that exudes self-confidence and poise. 

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders’ style, very strategically, shows voters that his style is an afterthought. He wants people to see that he’s not caught up creating a perfect appearance, but rather, is focused on the real issues at hand which American people deal with on a daily basis. As the report says, his oversized shirts and jackets might actually be helping voters connect with him more. Though fashion might not be a priority for Sanders, by no means does he have a messy appearance—just one that is a bit more traditional. Finally, while Sanders and Warren may disagree on various political topics, they do have a similarity in how they try to show voters their authenticity through their outfits. 

We often don’t even realize their fashion choices, yet we are analyzing every aspect of their appearance on a subconscious level. In a couple of weeks, the candidates will take the podium again at the next Democratic presidential debate that is scheduled to take place in Georgia. If you happen to watch the event, we encourage you to take a moment and analyze what the candidates are wearing, and furthermore, what message you believe their outfit is expressing. 

WE SAID THIS: Getting a glimpse of the psychology behind fashion helps you look at the candidates from a unique vantage point!!