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Power Dressing for Leaders and Men of Action

Given the appalling state of politics in Australia, in both style and substance, our public representatives could take a few lessons from our closest allies. US President Barack Obama is well noted for his sharp suits and clean cut, leader-of-men demeanour, but even the dearly defeated Mitt Romney presented a style that evoked power, trust and confidence. Whereas the man who so desperately wants to lead Australia, and some might say PM-elect, Tony Abbott, stylistically is best known for his man-of-action in red togs appearances.

So what makes for solid power dressing? For men, the essential item is a well-cut, dark coloured suit. Depending on your working environment and your natural colours, you might do well with a mid-grey but generally speaking, a light shirt contrasted with a dark suit will convey a sense of confidence, strength and good old-fashioned masculinity. A white shirt against a dark blue suit is a classic but other powerful combinations are sky blue on navy, light pink on dark grey or for a casual, understated power, use a dark shirt under a light grey suit.

Shirts should be flat (no stripes or checks), leaving any texture or patterns to the suit and tie.

As for ties, red has always been symbolic with power but only when it doesn’t clash with the other pieces. When you’re wearing a light blue shirt under a dark blue or grey suit, go for a tie that has shades of blue or grey in it. The texture or patterns in the tie is your chance to show some character and exude a bit of charm, just don’t go wacky. No cartoons, no motifs.

Rath and Co has a great blog for guys looking for style tips that work well in business, whether you are in a creative, conservative or leadership role. The article on style for CEOs is insightful.

To bring it back to the men of power, I’d love to know your thoughts on which Australian politicians are leading the style stakes?

Malcolm Turnbull dresses to his strengths.

Paul Keating raised the bar as the world’s best dressed treasurer.
Paul Keating: world's most sartorial treasurer?

Who is leading the style stakes in the Australian halls of power?


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