Put on that suit and tie
If this year is any indication, it seems like you better dress up if you plan on running for future presidential campaigns.
In the midst of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union presidential elections, between the platforms and the campaigning, there is one element that has garnered a considerable amount of attention from some of the candidates: the suits. It really is no secret that the future president of Laurier’s Student’s Union is expected to act professionally, as well as have a well-rounded plan for running the school next year.
It has also become apparent that dressing professionally has become an unspoken rule for potential candidates when they begin campaigning for the demanding role.
According to presidential candidate Sam Lambert, the decision to suit up during the election process comes from the desire to show students that he would not only be able to play the part as president, but he would also look the part.
“I wouldn’t be dressing up everyday if I didn’t think it played a part (in the election process),” Lambert said.
“I do think it’s important for candidates to wear suits because it’s not like you’re being elected as a student council president, you’re being elected as CEO, which is a professional role.”
Realizing that he is unable to speak with all students, Lambert used his unique sense of style to let students know who he is and what he hopes to represent for the Student’s Union without having to say a word.
“I do think that it is important for students to see other students showing that professionalism and because we don’t have the opportunity to talk with every student, appearances are definitely a big key to that,” Lambert said.
Justin Tabakian proved that wearing the suit is not the only option to look nice, as he has frequently been seen donning slacks and a knit sweater, going for a more semi-formal look throughout the election process.
Tabakian explained that his choice of wardrobe was done in part to make himself look more approachable to students rather than intimidating.
“I think it’s important that you consider the fact that you are also approachable to students because most students are wearing jeans to class and sometimes dressing up in a suit and tie can be a little intimidating for them to come up to you,” Tabakian explained.
“That is something to take into consideration when thinking of other ways to look professional and do a good job of representing people without always suiting up.”
When asked about his presidential style inspiration, Tabakian reiterated that his use of business casual attire demonstrates his professionalism without having to always look like Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother.
“You have to be dressed professionally, but professionalism doesn’t necessarily mean being suited up with a tie or anything in that manner,” Tabakian said. “As long as you’re coming across in a nice positive way, that is important.”
For presidential hopeful Chandler Jollife, suiting up isn’t much different than how he is usually dressed in his day-to-day life, as he has been known amongst his peers to frequently wear ties when going to class.
“This isn’t much different from what I usually wear but it’s more formalized because it is more business,” Jollife said. “That being said, I love having the opportunity to wear a suit.”
Not only does Jollife make sure that he is dressed for the role of a presidential candidate, he implemented a dress code for his campaign volunteers so that they can maintain his desired professional image as well.
These rules include not wearing sweatpants, ripped jeans, uggs or altering the campaign shirts. Jollife also set a goal for himself to make sure that he never wears the same suit twice.
The fourth presidential candidate Andres Melendez, who could not be reached for an interview opportunity with The Cord, has been noted for going against the grain and dressing casually during the election process. Melendez had been noted for wearing his beanie and jeans.
Dressing up for the upcoming election has offered a plethora of creative outlets in terms of marketing. Lambert has used a bow tie as a trademark throughout the election process, which he utilized to not only demonstrate professionalism, but to also reflect his personality.
“I like to think that I am a little whimsical and different so I do think that the bow tie does capture my personality and I think that students are connecting with that.”
Jollife frequently uses the colour blue in his wardrobe choices. Jollife explained that the colour has been used as a representation of who he is.
“We as a team sat down and had a meeting to discuss colour and one of the questions that my campaign manager posted was ‘what colour does Chandler look best in?’” Chandler explained.
All of the candidates interviewed have agreed that the purpose of wearing a suit and tie is to demonstrate their professionalism for a role that comes with much demand.
“If you look good, you feel good, so I think getting into a suit and seeing yourself look clean and sharp gets you into the right mindset,” Tabakian reiterated. “I think that it helps to project some level of professionalism on students, because once they understand what they are voting for and they look at the candidates, you want someone professional in that job and the way you dress says a lot to people,” Jollife said.