Who Wins in the Style Stakes: Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak?

3 minutes read

Political leaders are often scrutinised not only for their policies and rhetoric but also for their appearance. In the UK, two prominent figures—Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, and Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister—stand out for their distinctive styles. But who wins in the style stakes? This opinion piece delves into their sartorial choices, exploring what their fashion sense conveys about their personalities and political personas.

Keir Starmer’s Classic Approach

Traditional Elegance

Keir Starmer embodies a classic, understated elegance. His style is characterised by well-tailored suits, usually in conservative colours like navy, grey, and black. This traditional approach reflects his background as a barrister and signals a no-nonsense, serious demeanour. His preference for solid colours and minimalistic design highlights a focus on substance over flashiness.

Subtle Details

While Starmer’s wardrobe may seem straightforward, it’s the subtle details that set him apart. High-quality fabrics, precise tailoring, and a keen eye for fit demonstrate a commitment to professionalism. Starmer’s ties are typically subdued, often in shades of blue or red, which convey trustworthiness and authority. His choice of accessories, such as understated cufflinks and polished shoes, further underscores a meticulous attention to detail.

Political Messaging Through Tailoring

Starmer’s sartorial choices align with his political messaging. By opting for a conservative and reliable style, he projects an image of stability and competence, essential qualities for someone aspiring to lead the country. His fashion sense reassures traditional Labour supporters while also appealing to centrist voters who value pragmatism and experience.

Rishi Sunak’s Modern Flair

Contemporary Chic

In contrast, Rishi Sunak exudes a modern, polished style that reflects his background in finance and his cosmopolitan outlook. Sunak is often seen in slim-cut suits that emphasise his youthful energy and dynamic personality. His colour palette is more varied than Starmer’s, occasionally incorporating bolder hues and patterns.

Attention to Trends

Sunak’s fashion sense is clearly influenced by current trends. From sleek ties to trendy shoes, his wardrobe choices suggest a keen awareness of contemporary style. This modern flair is not just about aesthetics; it conveys a message of forward-thinking and adaptability, qualities that resonate with a younger, more progressive electorate.

Branding and Image

Sunak’s style is also a strategic branding tool. His choice of clothing often includes high-end labels, subtly signalling success and aspiration. This branding aligns with his image as a competent manager of the economy, someone who understands the importance of presentation and perception in the global market. His sartorial elegance enhances his appeal to both the business community and voters who associate polished appearances with professionalism.

Who Wins in the Style Stakes?

The Verdict

Deciding who wins in the style stakes between Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak ultimately depends on personal preference and the criteria used to judge. Starmer’s classic, understated approach may appeal more to those who value tradition and reliability. His style speaks to a sense of duty and seriousness that is reassuring in turbulent times.

On the other hand, Sunak’s contemporary and dynamic style may attract those who appreciate innovation and modernity. His fashion sense reflects a blend of confidence and sophistication, appealing to voters who prioritise a forward-looking vision.

Fashion Reflecting Leadership

Both leaders use fashion as a tool to communicate their personal brands and political messages. Starmer’s classic elegance projects stability and competence, while Sunak’s modern chic suggests dynamism and progress. Their sartorial choices are not just about looking good but about conveying deeper messages about their leadership styles and visions for the country.


In the end, both Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak excel in the style stakes, each in their own distinctive way. Starmer’s traditional, meticulous approach contrasts with Sunak’s modern, trend-conscious flair, offering voters a clear visual representation of their differing political and personal philosophies. Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of Starmer or the contemporary sophistication of Sunak, one thing is clear: both leaders understand the power of style in shaping their public personas. 

One thing to note is that Rishi’s trousers have grown a little longer, so maybe he takes some criticism on board…

Alexandra Wood creates bespoke tailoring and style direction for busy, successful men having landed clients on GQs best dressed list and the red carpet, Alexandra and her team are well placed to take your image to the next level. 

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