Running for office is a time-consuming affair that demands the absolute best from candidates — their best debate and interview responses, their best speeches, their best interactions with voters.
It’s also a time when candidates tend to break out the best of their closets.
Conversation over which of Philly’s mayoral candidates served the best looks on the campaign trail was some of the least vitriolic discourse of the entire political cycle.
Now that the primary is over, Billy Penn refreshed our memory by looking at campaign photos and social media posts to take stock of the contenders’ outfits over the course of the race.
Here’s a look back at how the candidates dressed — in no particular order and putting politics aside — as they competed for the chance to become the 100th mayor of Philadelphia.
“Orange is Cherelle’s color.” That’s what a staffer from Democratic nominee Cherelle Parker’s campaign matter-of-factly told Billy Penn earlier this year.
From a fashion perspective, it’s absolutely true — she’s rocked orange quite frequently and well on the campaign trail. It featured in her primary day outfit, too.
But the former City Council member has more range than that — lots of other fun, bright colors (and patterns) appeared frequently in Parker’s campaign wardrobe. Though she tended toward warmer tones, she also found ways to stand out in cool colors, like the bright blue blazer she wore to the PHL17 mayoral forum.
Still, don’t count out her ability to make simpler or more low-key colors work, like the black turtleneck she wore to a forum early in her campaign.
With Parker’s versatility, 2024 might just bring our most fashionable mayor ever.
Allan Domb, a former member of City Council and real estate magnate, proved to be a suit-and-tie guy through and through, though on the trail he occasionally opted for just a button-down instead.
Perhaps one of his best combinations came in a campaign ad, where Domb sat at his desk wearing a light blue shirt with a turquoise tie.
Domb did mix up his look every once in a while — maybe for weather-related reasons? — by wearing a sweater vest over a button-down, or by rocking a puffer vest on top of a fleece.
Honorable mention: Allie Domb, the candidate’s rescue dog, looks adorable in her Eagles jersey.
Maria Quiñones Sánchez
Some of former Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez’s standout campaign trail fits were, like Parker’s, brightly colored.
She rocked a blue and yellow pantsuit in a campaign video and elsewhere on the trail, a color palette that matches Philadelphia’s city flag.
Quiñones Sánchez seemed to have a signature color of her own — red. Across various campaign appearances, she donned red dresses, a red coat, and a red blazer.
State Rep. Amen Brown wore outfits spanning the sartorial gamut during his mayoral campaign — everything from a bright yellow-green “God has a plan” hoodie to a three-piece pinstripe ensemble.
He showed up to debates wearing suits, while opting for a blazer and jeans for other engagements.
And during an April campaign event, Brown donned a cream-colored cardigan and white T-shirt along with bright red sneakers.
Rebecca Rhynhart, a former city controller, pulled together a number of simple but polished looks across the months of the campaign.
A handful of strong pieces anchored her looks. For one, there’s the long, orangish brown overcoat coat that caught Twitter’s attention when she posted a photo on SEPTA. Rhynhart also wore it while door-knocking and to a press conference.
Rhynhart also pulled off two purple pastel pieces. A lavender dress paired with a black blazer was her outfit of choice at the voting booth on Election Day, and elsewhere on the trail, she campaigned in a lavender blazer.
Yet another staple of Rhynhart’s campaign trail wardrobe was the red blazer she wore to several forums — a piece that provided a more aggressive pop of color when compared to some of her earthier-colored ensembles.
Grocery store magnate Jeff Brown’s campaign trail go-to pieces included suits and ties, button-downs, sweater vests, and quarter zips. He even donned a gray, campaign-branded sweater vest the week of the primary.
Brown’s outfits were most interesting when he incorporated some patterns, like the subtly plaid gray suit jacket and rosette-covered blue tie he wore to an event at Arch Street Presbyterian Church.
A leather jacket also served Brown well on the campaign trail, frequently worn over a quarter zip over a button-down.
Former councilmember and activist Helen Gym’s campaign trail wardrobe was full of variety. One standout element, though, was undoubtedly her brightly-colored pants.
Statement slacks can be difficult, but Gym demonstrated skill in matching them with blouses.
For instance, she opted to wear a simple white button-down with bright red pants while campaigning on the El, a black floral top above bright orange during an event at Penn (peep those boots, too), and red pants with a red blouse (of a different shade) during a Philadelphia Citizen forum.
(Might these all be the same pair of pants but in different lighting? Possibly.)
Gym is another candidate who pulls off purple well, though she generally opted for darker shades than Rhynhart.
Retired municipal Judge James DeLeon, like Domb and Brown, was a suit-and-tie guy on the campaign trail — and he was pretty outspoken about being aware that he could pull it off.
“I look this good, because I win all of my fights,” DeLeon wrote on Instagram in April, captioning a pic from a photoshoot where he wore a gray suit and red tie. “As mayor, I will win all of my fights for you, so Philadelphia can look good together.”
DeLeon’s most fashionable moment was undoubtedly his Election Day fit: gray suit, blue tie, tan hat, ballot number sash. *chef’s kiss*
He may be last on this list, but former Councilmember Derek Green was certainly not least when it came to fashion sense.
One of the Instagram reels from a February week on the campaign trail gives a good idea of his range. We see him in a red-and-blue plaid jacket and maroon scarf, a checkered orange shirt with a gray vest on top, a yellow button-down and blue pants with a blue paisley tie, a tan jacket and matching fedora, and a gray suit…with polka dot socks.
The common thread between these varied but unfailingly interesting looks?
No matter whether he wore a fedora or a flat cap, a patterned jacket or a solid one, a turtleneck or a scarf… Green came across as committed to pulling it off.
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