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What that taped-down tie tells us about President Trump

President Trump is a polarizing figure in a polarizing time. But he may be able to unify the country under a principle that is the bedrock of American male civilization: wearing things even though they have outlived their usefulness and/or doing bizarre, embarrassing things to make them look right.

Even though I'm in the media and therefore am not to be believed, I promise this is not fake news or an alternative fact. We have photographic evidence.

In multiple images taken since he took office and before, it's clear that Trump uses scotch tape to fasten the thin part of his tie to the fatter part so that it stays hidden.

Why? He has not said, but one theory is that because Trump wears his ties so they drop far below his belt line, the thin part doesn’t drop far enough to fit in the loop behind the tie. That’s not true; from photos, it’s clear he uses the loop.

But even if that theory were correct, it still doesn’t make sense: He could make the tie shorter. He could buy longer ties.

Some tie watchers think the president needs to use tape because he wears his ties too long. Photos show he still manages to get the tie back through the tie loop. (Photo on left, Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press/TNS; on right, Ricky Carioti/Washington Post)

He does neither. He - or one of his aides, I guess - tapes the too-short part to the too-long part.

It may have surprised some people that the Leader of the Free World would need tape to get dressed in the morning, especially because we know he cares about fashion; according to reports shortly after his inauguration, he was not pleased with the poor fit of press secretary Sean Spicer's suit. And he also, allegedly, has strong opinions about how female staffers should dress.

But let's face it: He's also a guy who gives off conflicting signals, so it would make sense that he is critical of others' wardrobe choices and more forgiving of his own. (Sounds like a lot of people I know.) Besides, as a gender, men will go to great lengths to make whatever clothing we have continue to function as clothing, even if that means using tape or glue or – in a pinch – even a stapler.

"Yeah, but he's the President AND he's rich."

Doesn't matter. This has nothing to do with wealth and power. It's more primal, as if there's something in our DNA that makes it darn near impossible for us to not wear articles of clothing we like.

So now that we know that Trump is the Tie Taper in Chief, I would bet that many, if not all, of the following also are true about his daily wardrobe choices:

--- When he puts on a pair of socks and realizes it's the pair that has the hole in the bottom of one, he sort of scrunches up the sock and tucks it into his toes, holds it there, and then walks funny until he forgets about it.

--- When the elastic in one of his socks gives out, rather than throwing out the pair, he finds a match from another pair, and holds on to the elastic-free one for sock emergencies.

--- He has a couple of pairs of underwear that he wears only when all his good pairs are in the laundry. He likely wears these mostly around the White House and not when he's going somewhere. (You don't want to walk around too much when you are wearing your bad underwear.)

--- His undershirts all have armpit stains from decomposing antiperspirant, but why get rid of them when no one can see them anyway? They're UNDERshirts.

--- The loafers he got a few years ago definitely have a hole in them now, but they're super comfortable and all it would take to make them wearable on rainy days is a small piece of cardboard. So if anyone sees any in the recycling bin, let him know.

--- Of course he's not going to throw out that dress shirt that has a hole in the one elbow. He can just wear it under a sweater.

--- When he can't find a pair of matching gloves, he'll just wear one of each from whatever he can find. Sometimes, he can find only two right gloves, but that can still work if you reverse one.

--- Even though he no longer wears that T-shirt he got on vacation a few years ago, he won't get rid of it because it was once his favorite T-shirt and it brings back so many good memories.

None of this is likely to change your opinion of him, which should be based on things more important than clothing. But if he decides to run for re-election in 2020, campaigns in Buffalo and wants to connect with voters, I have a suggestion: Show up wearing ratty old boots with bread bags in them.



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