I am just starting my morning here in Myanmar and as an American living overseas I remain curious and interested regarding the US presidential election. I haven’t read about last night’s debate (I will do that right after I publish this blog post) but I was struck just now by this image on CNN.com’s front page:



Classic Clothing Choices

I’d like to give you my take on what the politicians are trying to say with color psychology. Please note that my assessment only comes from the photo above and nothing more. I am writing about what I believe the politicians intended to sell the audience using color psychology from the moment they walked out on stage.

Both politicians have certain negatives they want to downplay and strengths they want to highlight.  Let’s start from left to right in the image above:

Known for his over-the top, reality TV-style bravado, insults, and large sweeping statements, he needed to come into the debate seeming trustworthy and “presidential” (aka: accountable, qualified for the job, someone you can trust with access to a big red “end of the world” nuclear button, etc). So his choice of black power suit (denotes confidence and authority) mixed with the most Smurfy-blue “trust me” tie could not have been more deliberate.

Hillary on the other hand has been portrayed as “weak” and most recently “sickly” by her opponent. Women in general have historically been subject to being perceived as less able than men to keep a country safe in terms of national security. Recent polls show however that this view is rapidly changing. Based on her red power suit, Hillary is trying to convey strength and possibly try to show energy (and even good health) in the face of her more extroverted showman of a rival. She may have also been trying to bait Trump into going into a rampage (so as to then come across as the more level-headed candidate) since red is known to raise blood pressure and can evoke anger. *Note: She could also have gone the blue-route to try and reassure voters that she is trustworthy. However it looks like it was more important this time around to project strength and energy.

A Republican debate prep expert on CNN last night said that Trump normally tries to appeal to the heart while Clinton appeals to logic and that they needed to try and cross over to show their other sides. Based only on the photo above and the candidate’s color choices, I believe that the first step in achieving this image shift was through using color psychology strategically.

Would you like to learn more about how politicians use color to win your votes?
See my article that breaks down more colors and their common uses by politicians here: Between the Lines: How Politicians Use Color to Win Your Votes

Want to start dressing more decisively yourself using color psychology? Start with my free Youtube tutorial and in 10 minutes be on your way.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to vote!