Everything has been thought about: from the color tie to rolling up sleeves. Together with image expert Zabeth van Veen, we check out the outfits of some of our own politicians.
Days like Prinsjesdag are the perfect opportunity to make a political statement through looks and clothing. For example, Carla Dik-Faber (CU) wore a dress made of old train seat upholstery in 2015 to draw attention to recycled material and sustainable public transport. In 2018, Esther Ouwehand (PvdD) wore a dress with 1,200 crosses that represented the 1,200 animals slaughtered every minute in the Netherlands. But statements are made with clothing not only during Prinsjesdag, this also happens during debates in the House of Representatives.
The blue suit
We often see politicians appear in a blue suit. Why exactly that color? “Blue subconsciously gives a feeling of reliability. That is why pilots and the navy often wear this color, ”explains image expert Zabeth van Veen. The examination of the California State University shows that in Western countries is very important in contrast clothing. For example, a dark blue suit with a white shirt radiates authority. In other countries, completely different rules apply when it comes to color.
Not only the suit but also the tie is considered. For example, have you ever noticed that Mark Rutte (VVD) never wears a red tie, but Geert Wilders (PVV) and Pieter Heerma (CDA) do? “Red is the color of the PvdA, but it is also a color that requires attention. Do you want the eyes on you? Then you choose red. ” According to Zabeth, you unconsciously look first at the person with a red tie. “Research has also shown that 80 percent of people consider a person with a dark blue suit, a white shirt, and a red tie to be the most decisive and effective leader.”
Clothing as a marketing tool
If we zoom in on the personal clothing choices of politicians, we quickly arrive at the set that Mark Rutte has been wearing for years when he meets the people. Arjen Lubach has already made an item about this. When Rutte goes on a campaign, he almost always ‘buy‘ and wears a light shirt, a hoodie, and a blue padded jacket. “Rutte looks a bit like the average student. If he would look extremely fashionable, people would immediately think: why does he have time for that. Actually, you can never do it right.”
Turtleneck and rolled up sleeves
Another thing that we see more and more among politicians lately is wearing a turtleneck sweater in combination with a jacket. We saw this among others with Farid Azarkan (DENK) and Jesse Klaver (GL). “It’s winter, of course, but a turtleneck sweater also radiates intellect. Consider, for example, Steve Jobs. It suits GroenLinks and Klaver can take it well.”
The sneakers from Kaag
Finally, we must also talk about the clothing of women in the House of Representatives. Zabeth is convinced that women should earn more than men when you consider the clothes that need to be purchased. “Men have a few suits and shirts and then it’s okay. Women are viewed much more critically. If a woman puts on the same outfit five times in two weeks or if their hair is not in the right place, the reaction is much more violent.”
Another thing that stands out is that women often wear colorful clothes. Just look at Lilianne Ploumen (PvdA), Esther Ouwehand, Corrie van Brenk (50Plus) or Lilian Marijnissen (SP). “That way you can stand out, but politicians have to be careful with bright colors. Striking colors look very good with Lilianne Ploumen, but with Lilian Marijnissen it could just be that the colors run away with her, so to speak. That has to do with what color type you are. That all works very technically.”