Style Report Card: 2016 Election

By John Wong

We’ve got a little under eight months before the US of A chooses a new president, and so far this election has proven what we already know: a) we still have racist assholes in this country, and b) none of the presidential candidates can slay quite like a Kennedy or an Obama.

Believe me, there is no political bias in my statement at all.  I get that these people are trying to be President of the United States, not Editor-in-Chief of Vogue (bless Ms. Wintour’s soul).  That being said, it’s time to lay down the law.  How are we going to prove America’s status as a fashion superpower if our own leader looks like frumpy weirdo?

It’s time to Make America Fashionable Again™.  Presenting, The Spread’s “Election 2016 Style Report Card.”

Hillary Clinton


Starting more on the blue side of things, we’ve got the High Priestess of the Democratic Party, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  I said the blue side of things because whenever I look at the stuff she puts on her back I become physically ill.

There’s a reason why her style has evoked rumors of lesbianism and people have labeled her the B word just because of the outfit she chose to wear that day.  You saw it in 2008 and it looks like 2016 is no different: Hillary has a passion for pantsuits, and we just have to learn to deal with it.  It was worse in 2008, to be honest; that is when we saw the highest number of unicolor pantsuits at one time in the entire history of this great nation.  It must also be noted that 2016 Hillary is a lot more experimental with her look.  While the pantsuit still makes its inevitable appearance at a rally or debate here and there, we are starting to see a lot more different looks in the form of more straightforward silhouettes and even a metallic coat from a woman who might just become #45 if the predictions are to be believed.  Here’s to hoping that becoming president means being able to afford a top shelf stylist.

Grade: B-

Bernie Sanders


Moving on to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Let’s just say his style is about as interesting as the state of Vermont.  This is a guy who favors suits a little on the baggier (and boxier) side, and it looks like he pressed them with a toaster instead of an iron.  His button-downs appear to have gone through the wash cycle three two many times and his pants could be brought in to a slimmer fit.  But you know what?  His outfits are what make his candidacy remarkable.  This is a man who wants to give off a sense of authenticity – not just to his ideas, but also to his sense of style.  The simplest advice I could dish out is to comb the hair back and maybe try out a gray suit once in a while.

But if you think about it, Sanders’ style only makes sense; after all, he’s the one who’s talking the most shit about the Wall Street millionaires and billionaires  – you know, the exact people who are buying the custom fit, made-to-order haute couture designer pieces that would make the most blessed of fashionistas hate the top 1% as well.

Grade: C-

Donald Trump


To sum it all up, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is the human embodiment of the age-old adage “Money can’t buy class.”  This is a man who outfits his entire Manhattan luxury apartment in the tackiest of gold, and it appears some of that gold has spilled into the front lobby of Trump Tower as well (trust me, I’ve seen it in person).  You would think that with all of that money and his celebrity status, Mr. Trump could get himself a stylist who could at least tell him to get a more structured suit and matching pants – but you’d be wrong.

Maybe being married to a supermodel wife would have solved his problems?  It didn’t. Even having a daughter with a connection to the fashion industry in the form of Ivanka Trump and her damn shoe line couldn’t save her father from being put on fashion life support.  Don’t even get me started on those canary yellow ties. Another thing: it’s okay to ditch the tie once in a while, but if you’re gonna keep wearing one, make sure it NEVER DIPS BELOW YOUR BELT.  Nothing more needs to be said about his hair than what has already been said in the past.  You can never really trust a man who sells cheaply made ties and ill-fitting dress shirts at Macy’s to give you fashion inspiration in the first place.  Wait, scratch that – used to sell cheaply made ties and ill-fitting dress shirts at Macy’s.  You know, before the whole thing with the Mexicans.

Grade: C

Ted Cruz


If you were to pluck a pastor of a local church in a rural wasteland out from his pulpit and onto national television, you would have Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.  When he’s not wearing some gingham shirt underneath baggy suit jacket, he’s dressed in a raggedy plaid button-down with his signature creepy smile on his face.  Aside from being the Most Hated Man in Washington, Cruz also allegedly has the personality of a dead fish out of water – and somebody really needs to teach him how to correctly use the muscles in his face to smile.  You’re from Canada, Ted (don’t try to deny it); the least you can do is have some impressive outerwear game or something.  That dusty leather jacket with the dad jeans shtick doesn’t quite cut it anymore.

Grade: D-

John Kasich


I was gonna get started right off the bat by saying fire your stylist, but I guess you should fire the person who’s telling you that there’s still a chance you could be president one day.  As if Ohio governor John Kasich’s presidential aspirations weren’t bad enough, his closet needs to do a complete 180, stat.  Dress shirts need to be more slim-fit and tucked into the pants all the way at all times.  Slacks: pressed to a T, please.  The lumpy argyle sweaters?  Never again.  It’s time to take all your clothes and start packing up, Mr. Kasich, and I mean that literally.

Grade: D


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