On Feb. 19, I accompanied a friend in Kresge as he watched the Democratic Debate. After about an hour, while he remained immersed in the discourse, I stopped paying attention, and instead, entertained myself with TikTok.
Ten minutes into the For You Page, my friend paused the debate to complain about Elizabeth Warren’s outfit: “It’s not presidential enough.” Now, I care a lot about policies when it comes to politics, but pantsuits? Not so much. So, I had little to say about Warren’s wardrobe. But, then my friend asked me, “how would you dress the candidates?”
Time stopped, and my heart raced; it felt as though I’d been waiting my whole life for this question. So here it is, my elaborate and extravagant answer to the burning inquiry that for me, fulfilled a deep need I didn’t even know I had: just how would I dress each of the democratic candidates for their debates?
(Before we cut to the chase, a quick aside. Most of these outfits were picked according to my own personal biases regarding the candidates, so prepare for some opinions!)
Let’s begin with Bernie, just because I am a little biased and because he was the easiest to style. I wanted to give him a modern look because though he may be nearly 80 years old, this man is young in spirit. He’s bold, he’s fun and folks, Bernie may be old but he’s not a boomer.
To capture the essence of his fiery spirit, I’ve dressed Bernie in something wholly reminiscent of my own eclectic street style, but on a bigger budget. With glasses from GODSOMWARE, boots from Balenciaga, and a neon orange bag from MCM by PHENOMENON, accessories shape Bernie’s look. I’ve topped it all off with a leather jacket from ENFANTS RICHES DEPRIMES, a simple neon orange beanie, a pair of high-waisted white pants and a graphic tee.
Following Bernie, is Pete. Despite the fact that Pete recently suspended his campaign, I chose to include him anyway as he was on stage at the last debate. I’m pretty ambivalent about Pete’s wardrobe, so his outfit was hard to put together. However, inspiration struck thanks to Twitter and a deep-dive I did on his birth chart (a Capricorn with either Scorpio or Sagittarius moon). Personally, I’m a Capricorn moon and if this means anything, it’s that every uninformed zodiac post says we’re boring. And while I’m not boring, Pete is, even if just a little. So, his look will remedy that.
Pete will be wearing something from Petar Petrov’s Fall 2020 collection, which immediately caught my eye when I saw it online. Rather than pairing it with a skirt/dress, Pete’s look is complete with beige trousers and black Armani shoes. His shirt is also tucked in because I am a huge fan of the French tuck. It’s nothing eye- catching or loud, but it works better than whatever he’s currently wearing to the debates.
Moving on to Elizabeth Warren, I knew I wanted to do something different for her. Elizabeth’s wardrobe is pretty straightforward. There’s no pizzazz, just monochromatic pantsuits. It’s bland and predictable, a little like her. But no worries; I’ve got just the thing.
Taking inspiration from New York Fashion Week, I’ve dressed Elizabeth in something true to her love of bright clothing. Carolina Herrera’s Fall 2020 runway show plays around with color and depth in fabrics, thereby taking tradition and making it remarkable and eye-catching. This is what I’d dress Elizabeth in, staying true to her colorful fashion record but deviating from her traditional silhouette with something less form-fitting. I’d top it off with sheer tights and these Gianvito Rossi white ankle boots. Elizabeth, might I say, I’ve outdone myself.
Jumping to our last female candidate, I’m very excited to dress Amy Klobuchar. Her attitude is very straightforward and she’s honestly a little scary and impersonable, so when I saw this look online I was very excited. This number from the Victoria Beckham Fall 2020 collection sticks with neutral tones to make a statement, and in doing so, has an indelible presence of power. The big sleeves are my favorite part, as there’s just something about their ridiculously fabulous size that would make Amy even scarier than she already is.
Moving on to Joe Biden. I must be honest. I was simply at a loss on what to do with this man. With zero plan in mind, I searched the recent runways for the first menswear designer that popped into my head, which was Giorgio Armani. I personally believe there’s nothing special to be said of Giorgio’s recent work, but that could also be applied to Joe, so I figured Giorgio’s collections were, therefore, a good place to start looking for outfits.
And outfits I did find! This suit reminded me of something an English grandfather would wear to afternoon tea, and I figured if a piece of clothing radiated “outdated,” then it suited Joe. The only thing I would change is the horrendous undershirt, as the material resembles something you’d find in the Under Armour sale section at Macy’s. Mr. Biden is in fact not my brother when he was 12 years old and exclusively dressed in “sports boy” gear, so I’d swap out that shirt for a plain black turtleneck.
To conclude this piece, I must, unfortunately, discuss Mike Bloomberg. This is what I’d dress him in. No further comment needed.
And that’s what a debate stage would look like if I were in charge of it! To say the least, the program would certainly be more interesting.