Why local politicians seriously need to dress better

What’s up with polo shirts and our local politicians? This outdated politician look really baffles me. If this were a job interview – you wouldn’t wear a polo shirt if you want to make a good first impression, no?

chan chun sing

(Polo tees? nah…)

Politicians should be leaders and role models who embody the people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. My idea of a leader is someone who is presentable, articulate, intelligent and witty, and someone who can be a strong, central figure. Aren’t humans like peacocks? We like to dress to impress but why do our local politicians dress like they are just out on a quick supermarket run? Power dressing, anyone?

I’m not really into local politics probably because I haven’t seen any politician who was visually appealing enough for me to want to know more. By visually appealing I don’t mean good looking – you don’t have to be handsome or beautiful to be visually attractive. It’s not about being fashionable and trendy either. It’s about looking presentable.

Just look at US president Barack Obama in his suit and tie. Even on his casual days, he would still be in a long sleeve shirt. His polo look is reserved for golf – gosh, what does this say about our politicians?

These are the problems I think are plaguing our local politicians dress sense:

  • They want to appeal to the masses. Sure, that’s a valid point. They are representatives of a political party who would be of service to the people. They need the numbers so they have to look convincing to everyone who is eligible to vote. Will pretending to be “one of the people” actually work? I’m not suggesting an expensive image overhaul (or maybe I am) but more of an image upgrade. It’s 2015, not 1970. Let’s try to look more current.


(this guy comes close!)

  • They are part of a political party and not individual candidates. Because Singapore follows a parliamentary system and not a presidential one, we vote for parties and not for individual candidates. But UK politicians still dress appropriately and professionally! Why can’t we? I understand the need for uniformity but they don’t need to collectively look hideous! Well, at least they make any school uniform look great. My secondary school uniform was a moss green top and bottom set which made us look like a soccer field during assembly, imagine that!
  • They don’t want to appear like they are flaunting their wealth. But having that said, anything that a $15k a month politician wears looks like its branded anyway…even if it was bought for $9.99 for a set of 3 at the pasar malam.


  • They don’t want to look too flashy. Easy to fix – just stay away from the damned Gucci, Hermes or LV logo belt. Being presentable and classy is not about logos, brands or price tags. The Chanel 2.55 doesn’t have a big, bold brand logo. It’s the bag’s iconic shape and quilted material that makes it instantly recognisable.



  • They don’t want their dress sense to be a distraction. Another easy fix. When in doubt, stick with a staple. Pretty much like how the following politician does it.  “Hey, I may not be the brightest bulb in the room but at least I make the rest of my party look visually good, no?”





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About the author

April Zara

April Zara is a Filipino-Chinese citizen of the world. She's a free spirit who strongly believes that happiness is contagious and makes conscious effort to spread it.

Her diverse work background includes years in both the publishing and fashion industries. She had a great learning journey as a writer for various publications followed by a wonderful stint as deputy editor for PETS Magazine. She moved on to pursue her interest in fashion and lifestyle as a sales and operations specialist for a fashion distributor before going back to her pet industry roots. In 2014, she co-founded Tiny Krew, a premium pet product distribution company.

She loves animals, books, Mexican food, Assassin's Creed, tattoos, and lists Shanghai as one of her favourite cities (mostly because of the climate).

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