What’s Up With Donald Trump’s Suits?

October 12, 2016

What’s Up with Donald Trump’s Suits?

Donald Trump has been an unusual politician, not just in terms of his politics and ability to survive controversies, but also in the way he dresses. At least since the ‘90s, major party candidates have strived for a more relatable, business-casual look. That means: suit pants with no jacket, sometimes with the shirt collar unbuttoned and worn without a tie (if there is a tie, it’s often loosened). Shirtsleeves are also usually rolled up to show the person “gets down to business.” See these photos of Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama on their campaign trails for examples.

Donald Trump is different. He’s rarely photographed outside of a coat-and-tie – even in private moments. Whereas other candidates are trying to say “I’m just like you,” Trump seems to be saying “I’m not.” He wears a suit to project confidence, power, and success, which have been at the core of his campaign message on why he should be President.

Unfortunately, like all politicians, his clothes don’t fit that well. Bespoke tailor Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, who works for the famous Edward Sexton (former tailor to the Beatles and Mick Jagger), recently sat down with Jezebel to talk about what he sees wrong with Trump suits. Some takeaways:

  • Fabrics: Trump seems to favor lighter-weight fabrics, presumably woven in those high Super 100s and 200s numbers. The problem with lightweight fabrics is that they sometimes don’t hang that well, which exacerbates any tailoring problems you might have. Sebag-Montefiore’s suggestion: aim for a sturdier, heavier cloth, maybe with an open weave for breathability.
  • Shoulders: As Sebag-Montefiore notes, Trumps shoulders often look a bit lumpy, curving around the top, but then dropping off towards the shoulder joints. Jezebel attributes this to soft shoulders, but Brioni (Trump’s suitmaker of choice) is known for their more structured fits. We unfortunately don’t know what causes those lumpy shoulders, but they might just be too big.
  • Pants: We like full-legged trousers, but Trump’s are so large that they make his feet look small by comparison. You can see this in the photo where he debates Hillary Clinton. The pants could be a little trimmer.
  • Jacket Sleeves: Sebag-Montefiore doesn’t mention this, but many of Trump’s suits look like they could have their sleeves shortened. You’d be surprised by how much better a suit jacket looks when you show a bit of shirt cuff. Aim for about a quarter to half inch when your arms are naturally hanging down. Any more and you’ll show too much cuff when your arms are moving.
  • Long Ties: We don’t know why Trump wears such long ties. The length doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should aim for having your ties end around your belt.

For a guy as wealthy as Trump, we’d suggest just going to a Savile Row tailor and ordering a full wardrobe. And ditching the shiny ties.

Sebag-Montefiore’s guess as to why Trump’s suits fit so poorly: “He might be buying ready-to-wear, and having to buy a size bigger in the shoulders to fit him around the waist.” You can read the rest here.