Justin Trudeau received a lot of flak during his recent India visit, not only over political controversial issues, but also for his fashion faux pas. The Canadian Prime Minister is usually known as one of the best-dressed male politicians in the World. So what went wrong this time? “He failed to project an Appropriate and Authentic IMAGE and went overboard”.
Image Management has 4 A’s: Authentic, Appropriate, Attractive and Affordable. The question of affordability doesn’t arise in this case since the word has no place in Trudeau’s dictionary, so I shall skip that one. Let’s talk about the other 3 A’s.
Authentic means dressing as per your values, personality, attitude, preference and at the same time being comfortable. Being a Prime Minister, one of the values Trudeau would surely like to project is being Political i.e. having a high impact and influence on others. However, his attire did just the opposite. The flashy coloured kurtas and royal sherwani were too dramatic; it looked like he was dressed for an Indian wedding. Moreover, he looked like a groom himself in a golden coloured sherwani. Overall, it also appeared that the young Prime Minister was trying too hard to make an impression. When your clothes & accessories are Authentic and Appropriate, it comes across as effortless.
Appropriate means dressing aptly for the occasion, as per role and goal, keeping in mind your agenda, the people you will be meeting and the message you want to send out. Trudeau was on an official political visit to India. His dazzling garments were too loud and sent out a message that this Prime Minister is more interested in fashion than serious trade talks between the two countries.
Attractive is looking pleasant and nothing about your appearance is disturbing. Trudeau looked attractive as his clothes were well tailored to suit his physique. However, since the first two A’s – Authentic and Appropriate were not taken care of, your attractiveness will not really add much value.
If Trudeau wanted an Indian touch to his attire, he could have opted for a Nehru jacket or a bandhgala, which would make him look elegant and imbibe the political value as well. Justin Trudeau’s stylist did not do his/her homework well. They should have known that sherwani’s are worn for functions and weddings in India, and Indian’s too wear blazers and jackets. Even the Namaste was overdone; the handshake is widely used in India. His wife and kids too followed him, wearing traditional Indian wear at most occasions and displaying the Namaste. Well, women and kids in Indian cities dress just normal. Hence, if only Justin Trudeau had appointed a good Image Consultant to style him, as well as guide him on the Indian socio-cultural nuances, he wouldn’t have made such a blunder.