Brian Boyd: What is with Donald Trump and those ties?
Coverage of big, swinging ties drowned out by inconsequential political reportage
Donald Trump, with lengthy tie, attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City. File photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald
Donald Trump and a stripy tie.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with a strong red-coloured tie. File photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A different stripy number.
A slightly different red stripy tie. File photograph: Steve Pope/Getty Images
Unless your name is Krusty and you work in a Circus, you should not wear a tie the way Donald Trump wears them. Last night, for the presidential debate, he wore a big royal blue affair that swept right past his belt buckle and touched his genitals.
And you know what they say about men whose ties touch their genitals.
Trump’s ties are preposterously priapic. Most ties are arrow shaped to draw attention to the genital area in a sartorial power play (yes, that is why men wear them) but Trump’s ties look like they have been soaked in Viagra and stretched out. They don’t just point to his genital area, they caress it.
It’s an accepted fashion convention that a tie should end around the belt buckle. But Trump’s tumescent ties just keep on going. As some gauge of their impressive length and girth, when Trump is sitting down his tie actually dangles on the chair between his legs. Like some coiled-up serpent.
Fashion experts have been on top of Trump’s big, swinging ties for some time now but sadly their voices are drowned out by inconsequential political reportage.
“It’s ludicrous and no one is pointing it out,” the noted personal stylist Jessica Cadmus told the Business Insider. “Trump’s tie are egregiously long. His biggest mistake is the length”.
This is a brave call by Jessica Cadmus. She could have brought Trump’s Oompa Loompa facial tan to the table, or bravely waded into his hair - which, the records shows, declared independence from his head in 1989. But no, it’s his big Alpha Male ties.
“Essentially purposeless and increasingly worn at one’s own discretion, ties are now above all statements of the wearer’s personality” writes Francois Chaille in The Book of Ties.
Which leads us to the burning question of whether Trump wearing out-size ties is a classic form of what Freudians would call “overcompensation”.
We do know that Trump has size issues. Over 30 years ago, Graydon Carter, now the editor of Vanity Fair, described Trump in a profile piece as a “short-fingered vulgarian”. Carter says this hit a nerve, telling ABC News this year “that like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer”.
Carter added “to this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him - generally a tear sheet from a magazine - on all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. The most recent offering arrived before his decision to go after the Republican nomination. Like the other packages this one included a circled hand and the words, “See, not so short!”
Onetime presidential hopeful Marco Rubio picked up on Trump’s size issue when he said during the earlier Republican campaign, “Have you seen Trump’s hands? You know what they say about men with small hands.”
‘Are they small hands?’
Trump countered by saying he would not sit back and “be presidential when little Marco is talking about the size of my hands”. On a debate stage in front of cameras, he then held his hands up to the audience and waved them about. “Are they small hands?” he asked.
I’m no expert but if you are still reportedly sending a journalist who drew attention to the size of your hands 30 years ago with pictures of your hands with the message “See, not so short!” and furthermore waving your hands around in front of a crowd for appropriate size approval, there may well be an issue here.
The men’s style bible, GQ magazine, has been keeping a weather eye on the growing length of Trump’s ties. Noting again that a man’s tie should fall right in the middle of his belt, their style experts have calculated that as the election reaches a climax, Trump’s ties now “look like they fall four inches below his belt”.
The magazine “refuses to speculate at the political or psychological reasons for this”.
Over at the men’s fashion magazine, Details, they’re dealing with the TTT phenomenon (Trump Tie Trauma) a bit more succinctly: “There’s only one thing that should dangle that far below the belt, and it’s also completely inappropriate”.