FT Picks: Best Dressed Men - The Election Edition

Politicians aren’t particularly well known for their sartorial risks or personal style, we know that. But, whether we like it or not, elections are all about appearances and impressions – and what we wear and how we dress play a huge part of that. So, we thought we’d have a look into the best dressed men of this election – from the good to the average to the downright awful. (We’ll try and avoid getting political too. Well, too political, at least.)

(Unfortunately, as a menswear blog, we’re unable to judge Theresa May’s personal style. To fight the Conservative’s corner, we’ve roped in the highest profile Tories to be her seconds in command.)

Let the battle commence.

The Conservative Party’s Best Dressed Men:

pjimage (30)

In the blue corner, we have the Conservative Trifecta: Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Aside from a flash of hair that would make any Malfoy proud, there’s very little to separate any of the Conservative MPs sartorial style. A dark navy or black suit with a pale shirt and a blue tie. That’s it. Boris has pushed the boat out a couple of times and worn a purple shirt and tie, but that’s as adventurous as it gets.

They’d probably describe it as strong and stable. We’d say that it’s a little old and stale.

The Labour Party’s Best Dressed Men:

pjimage (29)

In the red corner, the Labour Triple Threat of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Tom Watson.

Here’s where things get a little more interesting. Many things have happened since Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise victory and the party’s (not entirely willing) shift away from the Blair era – and one of them seems to be a looser definition of what it means to dress like a politician.

Jeremy Corbyn, never a typical politician by any definition, has had the same style since the 1970s. Knitted jumpers, brown or cream jackets, caps and a deathly allergy to ties. His style might not be your cup of tea, but it’d be hard to accuse him of dressing the same as every other politician. In fact, we might go so far as to say that he’s one of the only male politicians with his own distinct style.

That was, unfortunately, until this General Election. Now, his Dumbledore-inspired look has been replaced with a slicker, slimmer cut navy jacket and – quite often – ties. We know that it makes him look more Prime Ministerial, but we can’t help but miss the bearded country vibe.

John McDonnell is a little more statesman like, and this shows in his dress sense – it’s the same as his Conservative opponents except for he wears a red tie, not blue.

Tom Watson is an interesting one. We retract our comment about Jeremy Corbyn being the only one with his own distinct style. In his early days, Tom was just a portly MP that dressed in a poorly fitted M&S suit. But those days are gone.

Now, he’s been replaced by trendy dad Tom. He wears a mod-ish jumper and buttoned up polo to Glastonbury while he drinks a can of cider. He’s got cool, hipster-y glasses. In fact, he wouldn’t look out of place at your average mod reunion on Margate seafront.

The Labour Massive is a little bit more Marmite – like their policies, their sartorial moves are bold and unique and – dare we say it – a little more working class and in-touch with modern times.

The Liberal Democrat’s Best Dressed Men:

pjimage (31)

In the yellow corner, we have a two-man team: Mr Nick ‘Long Legged Cleggy Weggy’ Clegg and Mr Tim Farron.

Again, there’s not much to choose from. Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg keeps it safe with the MP uniform of a dark suit and party tie, while Tim Farron does pretty much the same (although, to be fair, sometimes he ditches the tie. Plus, his suits are cut a little slimmer for a more modern look.)

Not quite up to Labour’s sartorial standards, but no worse than the Conservatives.

UKIP’s Best Dressed Men:

pjimage (32)

Like Farage before him, Paul Nuttall is the only notable figure in the purple corner. And – ignoring all issues surrounding UKIP and their policies – he might just be a contender for the title.His on-trend stubble, hipster glasses and affection for tweed might be divisive, but you can’t deny that it’s got a little more originality and verve than the standard navy blue suit.

The Winner:


By quite some distance, the Labour Party takes the prize. Which, we think, is just as important as the result tomorrow Maybe even a tiny bit more important.

Even if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't wake up the next Prime Minister on Friday morning, we bet he’ll sleep safe in the knowledge that the folks at FT think he’s the best dressed man of the election.