Fashion Do’s and Don’ts from the 2016 Presidential Candidates

Whether you check the polls just as much as a campaign manager or only know the gist of what’s happening through Saturday Night Live’s weekly skits, one thing is for certain: Election season is here. And while most media outlets are covering each hopeful’s stance on the economy, immigration, and Planned Parenthood, there’s one hot-button issue that will silently shape our country for the next four years. That’s right, we’re talking about each candidate’s style choices.

Laugh all you want, but if you pay close enough attention you’ll realize that heavyweights from the Democratic and Republican parties are showcasing some major style lessons with each rally, debate, and late-night appearances. Let’s take a breather from those controversial topics for a moment, shall we? To enrich your style, check out these four classic style tips from our bevy of future presidents.

1. Donald Trump: Avoid logo-adorned pieces

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Trump is currently in the lead on the Republican side. And while he once was known for his suspiciously wispy hair and the “you’re fired” catchphrase on The Apprentice, we now find ourselves associating him with the “Make America Great Again” hat he wears to all his rallies. Listen Donald, we’re totally with you on the message: We too want to live in a country full of peace and economic prosperity. But is this 2005? No.

Should you be wearing a logo-clad hat that is eerily reminiscent to the days of Paris Hilton, shorts with sassy phrases printed on the back-side, and Von Dutch hats? Absolutely not. And dear reader, neither should you. Sure, branded pieces were deemed appropriate when you were just a wee college student. But as an adult man, it’s time to give your wardrobe a makeover by opting for clean, slang-free pieces. If you find yourself solid-adverse, try integrating some fun prints to breathe some energy into your wardrobe. Not sure which types of prints you should invest in? We have a few options for you.

2. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Don’t shy away from color

Hillary Clinton, Source: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

We know what you’re thinking: “How can I – a grown, modern man – take style tips from a female presidential candidate?” Lucky for you, Clinton’s colorful ways see no gender barrier. As a former First Lady-turned-Secretary of State-turned presidential candidate-turned independent e-mail instigator, all eyes have been on this hopeful over the past few months. And every time we see her, she’s introducing a new texture or potent color to the electoral mix. Pantsuits of cherry reds, cobalt blues, and navies have been her sartorial weapon of choice for those cringingly awkward debates while Clinton opts for cheerier oranges and teals for more casual affairs.

But, when she’s buckling down to get the job done, you better believe that she’s serving up some major style with tactile tweed and hounds-tooth textiles. When it comes to your own wardrobe, take a page out of Clinton’s book and invest in some colorful (and textured) garments. Not only will they set you apart from your fellow candidates stylish gents, they will also look particularly striking with all those neutrals you already own.

3. Bernie Sanders: Brush your hair

Win McNamee/Getty Images News

Win McNamee/Getty Images News

At 74 years old, Sanders has accomplished a lot in his lifetime: He’s currently a senator (D-Vt.), previously Vermont’s sole congressman, and apparently nicknamed “the amendment king” during his time in the House of Representatives. But one thing Sanders has yet to master? Combing his hair. With a quick Google Image search, you’ll see a few too many screenshots of Sanders’s whispy white locks all over the place.

While having a well-groomed candidate seems like a no brainer — don’t worry Sanders, we’ll teach all about the wonders of Mason Pearson — perfectly coiffed hair is equally important for non-political mortals. Before you head out for a beer with the guys, date night, or the office, do us a favor: simply look in the mirror. All your mane woes can be easily cured with a dime-size clump of hair gel and a comb. If you’re not willing to shed out money for a fancy brush or comb, running your fingers through your hair is an affordable alternative.

4. Ted Cruz: Mix and match your suit

Ted Cruz, Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Unless you’ve been living under a cultural rock, you’ll know that many politicos oftentimes play drinking games to the presidential debates. “Take one sip every time Clinton’s e-mail scandal is mentioned” and “Take one shot every time Trump recommends building a wall to keep illegal immigrants out” are two great (and we imagine, frequently used) examples. But a less common one that should merit chugging a whole beer? “Drink every time you see a boring black suit during any presidential-related affair.” It’s no secret that government occasions are perhaps the least fashionable, but rampant array of basic suits is painfully boring. Thank the sartorial gods for Ted Cruz, who mixes up his suits every now and then. At “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Des Moines, Iowa, this past August, Cruz was seen in a navy blazer and a pair of cool khakis.

We love the mixing and matching of suits — it’s fashion-forward, professional, and perhaps the most exciting thing (sartorially speaking) the government has seen since Obama sported his contested khaki suit. Whether meeting your beau’s parents or celebrating casual Friday, up your suit game by pairing mismatched hues together. But instead of coupling a pair of bright red pants with a black blazer, keep this style trick subtly chic with versatile neutral. Cruz’s tan and navy is a great choice as well as pairing brown and grey together.

Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs

More from Gear & Style Cheat Sheet: