It’s been a trying few weeks for Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister. The media is awash with reports that he is unable to control his Cabinet, backbenchers, or his party. He seems to be lacking gravitas and authority. Could it be due to his clothes?

The problem is that Rishi just doesn’t look ministerial. To begin with, he has a slight figure and is reportedly only five feet six inches tall—shorter than his fellow “short king,” Emmanuel Macron, and a similar height to Vladimir Putin. But Sunak’s working wardrobe does him no favors.

His tightly cut blue suits and skinny ties appear to have been chosen—presumably by a P.R. firm—to make him seem fashionable, as opposed to consequential. Unfortunately, their figure-hugging nature and predilections toward “trendiness” mean he looks more like a marketing guru or a talent agent than he does a political heavyweight. Admittedly his wardrobe is an improvement on Boris Johnson’s signature through-a-hedge-backwards aesthetic, but that’s hardly a compliment.

Clothes maketh the man …

Suresh Ramakrishnan, the co-founder of Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, a bespoke tailor based in London’s Mayfair, agrees. “[Rishi’s] dealing with a big Cabinet physically, and a big Cabinet ideologically. I don’t think what he’s wearing helps with that.”

It’s a question of proportion, Ramakrishnan says. Sunak’s hipster suits are tightly fitted with narrow lapels, a short jacket, and sharply tapered pants. His long, thin ties and closely fitted shirts reinforce the skinny impression. What smaller men really need is a suit that builds them up with “a broader lapel, subtly extended shoulder line, some volume in the chest, and room in the trouser.” Think Fred Astaire, not Tom Cruise.

He looks more like a marketing guru or a talent agent than he does a political heavyweight.

“Unfortunately, it all just looks a bit dated,” says Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, creative director at Savile Row’s Edward Sexton, a tailor that’s dressed style luminaries ranging from the Rolling Stones to Harry Styles. “Rishi looks like he wears mid-noughties fashion suits. It’s like he was aware of a trend from 15 years ago, and he’s stuck with it.”

Edward Sexton, the house’s octogenarian founder and head cutter, is himself a small figure with a 36-inch chest size, but he aims for his jackets to add stature to the wearer, using the garment’s silhouette and structure to suggest breadth and girth.

“The key to a suit that lends authority is to create classical masculine proportions,” Sebag-Montefiore continues. “We look at defining a clean line through the shoulder, accentuating your chest, and hitting the waist just right.”

Politicians are often wary of the expense of bespoke tailoring, lest they be seen as elitist. With Sunak, though, this is a moot point. We all know he’s rich. So why not spend wisely on his wardrobe and support a time-honored British craft industry while he’s at it?

In frequenting a good tailor—as does King Charles III, who orders his suits from Savile Row stalwart Anderson & Sheppard and routinely looks immaculate—the P.M. could work with craftspeople to create timeless clothes that lend him presence, rather than lessen him. Only then will he have an opportunity to live up to his “Dishy Rishi” nickname.

Aleks Cvetkovic is a London-based journalist and creative strategist. He writes on men’s style, design, and luxury