PM Lee shirts ranked


Over the last year or so, our fellow Singaporeans have gotten used to seeing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong grace our screens to address the nation. And if we’ve gotten anything out of this, it’s anticipating what colour shirt we were going to see him wear, and wondering if pink means good or bad news.

Let’s revisit some of PM Lee’s most iconic looks so far.


11.  The “is that pink?” pink


PM lee pink shirt in april 2020
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 10th April 2020

This pink looks like somebody forgot to take a red sock out of the laundry while washing their whites. “It’s lacklustre. No energy. Much like our initial response to the outbreak,” says a colleague. Oop.

Score: 2/10


10. The “is that purple?” pink


PM lee pink shirt 31st may 2021
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 31st May 2021

This one is still fresh, which is why the debate’s still on: Is that shirt pink or purple? Is it the lighting? Or did Mr Lee decide to end the pink vs blue debate by just mashing them both together? The question remains unsolved. 

Nonetheless, the coat stole its thunder, and a coat ranking this is not.

Score: 3/10


9. The CB one


pm lee circuit breaker announcement
Not the Circuit Breaker…
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 3rd April 2020

This shirt is iconic for all the wrong reasons. For starters, Singaporeans heard the magic words “Circuit Breaker” for the first time, promptly deciding that we never wanted to see PM Lee wear another pink shirt ever again.

However, the red-and-pink combination is pretty okay, so we’ll give it that.

Score: 3.5/10


8. The pink that started a legacy


pm lee pink shirt
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 8th February 2020

Ah yes, the shirt that started it all. It’s nothing fancy, and the outfit is kept pretty casual without a coat or a tie. It’s chill, just like Mr Lee asking us to not hog toilet paper because it wasn’t like we were going into lockdown or anything (CB who?).

Though overall unassuming, we’re big fans of the colour – in fact, it bears an uncanny resemblance to…

png kueh
Image credit: Eatbook

Png kueh.

Score: 4/10


7. The hot pink moment 


pm lee addresses the nation
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: “Overcoming The Crisis of a Generation” speech, 7th June 2020

Almost exactly a year ago, we were hit with this hot pink moment. A little punchier than the png kueh shirt, this one looks more like that one rare highlighter colour that made you a stationery boss if you had it in school.

We’re giving this a higher score because, with it, PM Lee relayed an inspirational message about how we had to come together to beat the virus. Very #SGUnited.

Score: 5.5/10


6. The “not DORSCON Red” pink


dorscon red announcement
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 12th March 2020

While Singapore was between DORSCON Orange and Red, PM Lee served us a monochromatic pink lewk with a matching shirt-and-tie. Keeping up with the trends, our Prime Minister.

Score: 6.5/10


5. The blue combo


pm lee blue shirt
Image adapted from: @leehsienloong

When: National address, 14th December 2020

With this periwinkle blue shirt came along good news about Phase 3, which immediately guaranteed a spot in the top five in our books. Next.

Score: 7/10


4. The NDP special


pm lee ndp address 2020
Image adapted from: @leehsienloong

When: National Day message, 9th August 2020

Instead of wearing red on NDP like a normie, the PM opted for a refreshing ~Vermillion Orange~ shade. What can we say – orange is the new red.

pantone vermillion orange
Disclaimer: We’re not sure if this is actually the colour of the shirt, but close enough.
Image credit: Pinterest

Score: 8/10


3. The png kueh shirt, but with a tie


lee hsien loong pink shirt
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: General Election 2020 announcement, 23rd June 2020

We’re pretty sure he’s worn this shirt before, but this time, he zhnged it up with the addition of a burgundy tie. Great colour combination – think the CB one, but better. 

Score: 8/10


2. The one with stripes


pm lee cny address 2020
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: Teck Ghee Chinese New Year Celebration Dinner, 1st February 2020

Okay, this one wasn’t an official address to the nation, which explains this more casual – dare I say, even fun – look. Though he didn’t stray away from pink, the bold stripes are a nice touch.

Score: 8.5/10


1. The “how come suddenly blue colour?!” one


pm lee magic cup and blue shirt
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

When: National address, 21st April 2020

After months of greeting his fellow Singaporeans with various shades of pink, our PM pulled a fast one on us with a royal blue number with a complementary tie along with it. And if that wasn’t enough, the entire ensemble even matched his signature Magic Cup™. Wow.

Honestly, we’d have given this full marks, but we’re taking 0.5 off because he mentioned that the Circuit Breaker was getting extended while wearing this. Eyer.

Score: 9.5/10 


PM Lee’s fashion through the pandemic


Obviously, PM Lee has more pressing matters to attend to during his speeches, but we won’t lie and tell you we don’t look forward to his style choices each time. 

pm lee drinks from magic cup
And that’s on that – period.
Image adapted from: Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

We’re still not sure about our colour theory with regard to whether pink = good or blue = bad, but I guess we’ll have to wait for his next address to find out.


Cover images adapted from (L-R): Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore