Did Hillary Clinton psych Donald Trump out of wearing his “red power tie”?

The man loves a red tie.
The man loves a red tie.
Image: AP
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Here’s a theory.

The seeds of Hillary Clinton’s decisive victory in yesterday’s presidential debate were sown last Thursday (Sept.22), with a genius move in fashion sabotage—a small but vital step in the psychological undoing of Donald Trump.

Thursday (Sept. 22) was the day that Hillary Clinton’s hilarious, intentionally awkward interview with the comedian Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns was released online. During her interview with Galifianakis, the comedian asked Clinton what she thought her opponent would wear (after he compared Clinton’s own wardrobe to that of “a librarian from outer space”).

“I assume he’ll wear that red power tie,” said Clinton, rather dismissively.

In one fell swoop, Clinton turned Trump’s trademark accessory into a predictable joke. One could practically hear the hands of strategists and stylists (Do they even have stylists?) at the Trump campaign fly into the air.

“Disaster! Terrible!” one of them might have shouted, casting a woeful eye toward a cedar closet filled with red ties. “Now what is he going to wear?”

Red, of course, has become the traditional color of states that vote Republican. It is also a color humans commonly associate with victory, assertiveness, and virility—all qualities Trump works hard to evoke on the podium.

And, more importantly, it is a part of Trump’s personal uniform. As anyone who subscribes to the strategy of “uniform dressing” could attest—Hollywood stylists, tech CEOs, and politicians among them—this single decision could tug a string to lead to a person’s full unraveling.

A redder, Trumpier reaction might have been to stay on-brand, and say, “You’re goddamn right he’s gonna wear that red power tie!”

Instead he wore one in blue, a color associated with openness, peace, and tranquility—not qualities Trump is known for.

Image: Reuters/Mike Segar

And Clinton? She managed to pull off a devastating move that fell somewhere between a withering “Is that what you’re going to wear?” from your mother, and a mean girl in high school fashion-shaming a frenemy.

She sucked the power right out of that red tie. And then she wore a red suit.