The genius strategy behind Ukrainian President Zelensky’s preference of wearing t-shirts

Ukraine’s President Zelensky

1. Communicating his self-identity

Before the 44-year-old leader was elected into office, he was a comedian actor starring in several movies and tv-shows. His most popular tv show was the Servant of the People which depicted a history teacher being elected as president.

He would epitomize this during his political campaigns as an anti-establishment, and a non-traditional guy who wanted to serve the people of Ukraine. This image would be reinforced by Zelensky preferences in posting selfie clips on social media.

Having grown up in a Russian-speaking region, southeast Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy knew that being traditional, doing business as usual, meant that he would suffer the same fate as Viktor Yanukovych, and other past leaders who had muddled the government and presidency with corruption and a more pro-Russian stance.

2. Mobilize the citizen and soldiers fighting on the streets

In most instances, President Zelensky can be seen adorned in a military green T-shirt, sometimes with the Iron Cross on it as the official emblem of the battered nation’s armed forces. This is not by mistake.

Studies have shown that informal attire when worn by leaders reduces the perceived power distance and thus increases social closeness between himself and their fellow citizens.

This has made him highly successful in mobilizing average Ukrainians and volunteering foreigners to fight for the nation.

3. Conveying the context of the message and it’s circumstances

Furthermore, President’s Zelenskyy use of casual dressing also amplifies the circumstances surrounding the need to heed his voice. The stark absence of a president not wearing a suit in official meetings conveys that these are no ordinary times.

The main takeaway from this article is that the next time you dress up know that it communicates certain cues though tacitly but with clarity to the listener’s unconscious mind.

Your dressing style can compound or diminish your message. So, it is probably not a good idea for you to suit up the next time you are pleading for help in a fire or flood emergency. Thank you!



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Samson Writing

Samson Writing

Passions: Data Science, Writing, Photography & Poetry. Offering writing services. Find me at