The politics of colors

I think I’ve worked it out.

On the first night of the Democrat Convention, the color palette was all blues.  The stage and trappings: all blues.  Michelle Obama, wife of the candidate, shows up in blue and speaks here piece.

On the second night, Mrs. Clinton, former presidential candidate, showed up in orange.  Bold.  She spoke her piece.

On the third night, Mrs. Clinton, showed up in blue.

Orange is the opposite of blue in the color wheel (cf. primaries and secondaries).

Everything in these conventions is carefully planned.

Could it be that Mrs. Clinton was making a statement?

Do women ever make a statement with what they wear?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    The real question is – is it truly appropriate to have Bill Clinton as the main speaker on the Feast of St. Monica?

  2. Rachel says:

    Fr. Z: Yes and yes, all the time. Good observation by the way.
    Tim: lol Nevermind.

  3. Subvet says:

    “Do women ever make a statement with what they wear?”

    NAH!! Never happens!

  4. Make me a Spark says:

    Yes, Dark Blue(Navy or midnight or dark Royal blue) and dark green are considered “trust me” colors in color psychology. They use them in banks and financial firms and law offices.

    Orange would be a “notice me” color on a person. and if the lady had the right skin and hair color(on the blue side–flaxen blond and pale skin) it would give her a warm glow.

    (I am an Interior Designer studying currently studying psychology)

  5. rcesq says:

    If Senator Clinton was making a statement it was a most unfortunate one: inmates making appearances in court wear orange jumpsuits. As a lawyer, she should have known.

  6. Dove says:

    Yes, women make a statement if they dress well, but Hillary has never learned how to do that.

  7. Anne says:

    She looked like a pumpkin – even her shoes were orange. Everybody was talking about it even O’Reilly and Dick Morris were all over it. I wonder who she asked to advise her? Cindy or Michelle? :)

  8. Limbo says:

    It is all about the secrets of the divine sisterhood and I advise all men to steer clear.

  9. rj57 says:

    It must be difficult for Senator Clinton having to decide which Kim Jong-il pantsuit to wear every morning.

  10. John Enright says:

    Father, you’re starting to scare me.

  11. Terry says:

    The color was saffron – not orange. Saffron is the color of Buddhist monks’ robes… if Mrs. Clinton and her stylist were attempting to make a political/spiritual statement at all – it would more likely have been along the lines of a non-violent-passive, Buddhist-type statement. But I doubt she was doing anything like that – saffron is a trendy color.

    On the other hand – the Obama’s will be dressed as American-yankee-apple-pie as they can be – indeed – the more Kennedy-like the better.

  12. roger b. says:

    Orange-Blue. Maybe Hillary is a Denver Bronco fan?

  13. Mary Bruno says:

    I wondered about the orange color and on my TV it definitely looked orange, the same color as an orange crayon. Maybe they wanted Michelle Obama and her girls to look the best and to look good (and they did!). Maybe they wanted to distract us with the color instead of the substance. Her speech was pretty much \”look at me\” why not have her clothes say \”look at me.\”

  14. johnny says:

    Re the topic. Lots of studies are done about the effect of wardrobe on the voter…remember the old power tie? I won’t get into the ladies’ ensembles, but there used to be an old saying, the right suit won’t get you a job, but the wrong suit might keep you out of one.


  15. Maureen says:

    Apparently, orange was the “action color” for the night designated by the PUMAs (diehard supporters of Hillary). [Really? hmmm]They wanted to see each other in the hall.

    Hillary apparently got wind of this and gave them a shout-out by wearing orange. The “sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits” remark was apparently also a shout-out to the PUMA bloggers.

    Truly, this is the only reason that comes to mind for Hillary wearing orange. I’m sure she knew it wasn’t a flattering color.

  16. I actually caught this on the news, they made her try on like 5 or 6 different outfits because they thought that some speakers were blending in too much with the background. It wasn’t (ostensibly) a political decision, rather it was a set-design decision.

  17. Anastasia says:

    I don’t think Nurse Ratched is a member of the Orange Lodge, though I wonder if her view of Catholics resembles the Lodge’s — at least in its historical trappings. (To be fair, Paisley’s now making peace. Good for him.)

  18. JML says:

    Let\’s see
    Red is the color of Martyrs
    Black is the color of mourning
    Green is the ordinary color
    Violet is the color of penance
    White is the color of rejoicing
    Rose is the color of (oh darn\!, I forgot).

    What other colors do we need\? :)

  19. Chris says:

    As someone who has worked three conventions, you’re thinking way too much about this father!

    Only thought on colors is what looks best for complextion. [Oh yah? I bet there’s more too it.]

  20. I deleted some off-topic comments.

  21. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Were the off-topic remarks off-color, Father Z?

  22. supertradmom says:

    Do women make fashion statements on purpose? Yes. Is orange an aggressive color? Yes. Is the Convention partly about the Clintons just being the Clintons and not about Obama? Yes.

    Of course, there would be no black and white at the Democratic Convention.

    Life is much simpler with us trad Catholic women, who do not try to dress for success or for attention, but try to follow St. Paul’s admonitions and dress modestly and humbly.

    And, we “do the black” in our clothes.

  23. Lucia says:

    “do women ever make a statement with what they wear?”

    of course they do! There are gazillions of little symbolisms in nun/sister outfits!

  24. CK says:

    The complexion influence is true – that’s where they get the “Color Me Beautiful” – what is your season – fall/spring = warm tones; summer/winter = cool tones. You can tell by the inside of your wrist. Makeup is also designed re: this influence.

    Actually Michelle wore green and they were concerned with it clashing with a blue background. They also carried out at least 4 of the same pantsuit for Hillary in separate colors on to the stage to see if any would clash with the background. Any substance here??

  25. Luke D. says:

    Sorry to drift of topic Father, perhaps you could help me with that question via facebook (Luke Dyer) in an email if you have time. Again, I am sorry.

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