Feb 24

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President Obama’s Ties

Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect watches President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

Please don’t wear any more pastel blue ties. I know former President Bush wore them all the time; and I assume it’s becauseĀ  he had John Molloy’s “Dress for Success” book, which had a dark power suit teamed with a light blue tie on the cover. Mr. Molloy did lots of research for his book, just as I do, but he didn’t research color much. Pastel ties are always for the Country Club or the Deep South. They are not for the Board Room or the Oval Office because they do not suggest power or authority; instead, they suggest that you are timid or soft spoken. There’s a place for this tie; for instance, an insurance man calling upon a widow and not wanting to look like all the other high-powered insurance salesmen. The bottom line is that it is not a Presidential look at all.

The darker the color, the higher the authority. That’s why pastel ties don’t work. It’s also why the photo in the middle suggests the most power and authority; and this man will command the most respect and credibility. Red is the most powerful tie color there is; add a little black to it and you make red even more powerful.

As for the bold red tie in the photo on the right, this is the kind of red that announces you are energetic, pioneering, enterprising and dynamic. Red ties are also considered sexy by most women and that’s okay, too. Being covertly sexy is good; being overtly sexy lowers credibility and trust. Overtly sexy is when you have “designer stubble” and a black T-shirt and designer sport jacket. Wearing a dark business suit and a red tie is covertly sexy, just so you know.

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/president-obamas-ties/


  1. M

    You are mistaken in your evaluation or assessment of the choice of tie to be worn by a US President when you suggest the ‘maroon tie’ look is the better choice. Please note: Priminister Netanyahu of Israel is frequently seen in a light blue tie. He has no problem presenting an image of power when wearing that light color. The choice of an american president wearing a maroon tie is not a particularly good one, it is not a choice that evokes vibrancy or authority unless you want to associate w/the force of a dictator or the like. Most assuredly it is unpatriotic and a very peculiar color to see an American in. Thank you for letting me share this with you.

  2. Sandy Dumont

    Dear Ema,
    I appreciate your opinion That’s what it’s all about.
    Color psychology is universal; however, there are always “cultural exceptions.” Purple, for example, is said to be a color for “old ladies” in the UK; in the US, it is sometimes thought of as a color for prostitutes and sexy lingerie – but at the same time it is regarded as being as regal as the king’s royal purple robes. In much of Europe, it is a “religious” color. Ultimately, purple is like black: a very complex color! Blue is not complex. In bright sunny colors it is like “the blue bird of happiness.” In grey-toned shades, it is like “blue Monday.,” In pastel shades, it is pleasant but passive.

    Red is power and life itself, as it represents the blood coursing through our veins. When you add black to any color, it becomes more authoritative. In the United States, dark red is known to be a Power Tie. Pastel ties of any color are “fashion ties” not power ties. George Bush made the pastel blue tie popular; and it is obvious that he had a copy of “Dress for Success” featuring a dark blue pin-striped suit, white shirt and pastel blue tie on the cover. This look sends a mixed message (highly authoritative suit and shirt; low authority tie) and confirms my belief that John Molloy, the author, didn’t really know color psychology.

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