In an election ripe with scandals and scathing headlines, few topics have been off-limits for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though the words of politicians should be far more important than the clothes on their backs, a number of conversations surrounding fashion, price tags and stylistic details have become plot lines in the 2016 election. Here are five of the biggest fashion scandals from the two campaigns.
Melania Trump’s Pussy Bow Blouse
Following the release of a video that portrayed Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, specifically that he likes to “grab them by the pu**y,” the republican nominee, as well as his family and team, was walking on eggshells. So it came as a pretty big surprise when his wife, Melania Trump, opted to wear a “pussy bow” blouse to the second presidential debate.
The $1,100 Gucci top is far from subtle in a hot pink hue and is nearly sold out on Net-A-Porter. It left some wondering if Melania was trying to troll her husband, but a spokesperson told CBS that her choice of blouse was “not intentional.” However, it can’t be denied that this particular fashion choice was highly ironic.
Hillary Clinton’s $12,495 Giorgio Armani Jacket
Though Clinton has (unofficially) pledged her allegiance to Ralph Lauren, wearing suits by the classically American designer for many of her recent public appearances, she did have a bit of an Italian snafu in June 2016. At a fundraiser in New York, not long after she was named as the Democratic nominee, she donned a knee-length red and white tweed jacket, with three-quarter sleeves and a zip down the front. Designed by Giorgio Armani, critics and supporters of Clinton were shocked to find the jacket had a $12,495 price tag.
To some, this seemed to be a hypocritical jacket to wear while discussing the negative effects of income equality. To others, this particular conversation about the presidential nominee was entirely sexist, as there were few headlines discussing Trump’s personal penchant for ill-fitting suits. Which leads us to our next point…
Donald Trump’s Brioni Suits
It only makes sense that the businessman-turned-politician has a penchant for pricey suits. Trump first fell for Brioni suits back when he was just a reality star. “They graciously supply me with my clothing for The Apprentice,” he wrote in Trump: Think Like a Billionaire, the 2004 book he penned, with the help of ghostwriter Meredith McIver. Business of Fashion pointed out that the candidate no longer receives his Brioni suits as gifts, but he now pays for them, reportedly shelling out between $5,250 and $6,900 for each one.
His dedication to the brand has spurned countless headlines, such as “Even Donald Trump Can’t Make Italian Tailor Brioni Great Again.” Trump is so very dedicated to his Italian suits that his new Washington D.C. hotel will be equipped with a Brioni shop. Needless to say, Trump really loves his foreign suits, even if they fit rather boxy on his frame, calling to mind silhouettes that we haven’t seen since the ’80s Wall Street era.
He also tends to wear ties that are longer than average, which is seen as a major faux pas. GQ pointed out that a tie should end at the middle of the waistband or belt buckle, but no lower. Trump’s ties tend to dangle at least a few inches below that. In fact, the length of his red tie at the second presidential debate was a hot topic on Twitter, as documented by Huffington Post.
Ken Bone’s Red Izod Sweater
There’s no denying the fact that the internet adores Ken Bone, the endearing undecided voter who has emerged as the breakout star of the second presidential debate. Though he still remains undecided on who he will vote for on November 8, it’s definitely been decided that he is a national treasure. As is his red Izod sweater.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Bone explained that his now-iconic knit was actually a backup outfit. He intended to wear an olive-colored suit his grandfather helped him buy many years ago, but his pants split when he got into his car the morning of the debate. Instead, he opted for a red half-zip sweater, a white collared shirt and classic chinos. Who does he credit for his fashion choices? “The short answer is that my wife dresses me, like all great Americans,” he admitted to Kimmel.
Naturally, Izod is using this moment to cash in on their visibility, and it’s working: The red cable knit sweater is already sold out on Amazon, but is still available on Kohl’s, on sale for $48.99. The uptick in sales for this particular style could be because we all want to be an upstanding American citizen, like Bone. Or, it could be because everyone and their brother will be dressing as Bone for Halloween.
Tiffany Trump’s Chinese-Designed Dress
At the first presidential debate, Donald Trump’s youngest daughter, Tiffany Trump, sat in the audience wearing a dress by a Chinese label, Taoray Wang. The brand took to Instagram to applaud the moment, writing: “We are thrilled and proud to see how our design comes to life with you radiating elegance, confidence and power. We hope to always be with you on your journey representing the outstanding female image of America’s new generation.” However, her father used his time at the debate to berate China for “stealing” jobs from America, among other negative comments.
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Thank you for choosing TAORAY WANG! We are thrilled and proud to see how our design comes to life with you radiating elegance, confidence and power. We hope to always be with you on your journey representing the outstanding female image of America’s new generation.#tiffanytrump #taoraywang @tiffanytrump
China is often the subject of Trump’s misplaced rage, including his accusations that the concept of global warming was created “by and for” the Asian country. Jing Daily, a Chinese website that focuses on luxury goods, called out the blonde 22-year old for her fashion choice, despite (or perhaps in spite of) her father’s opinions. They also noted that she attended the Taoray Wang fashion show this September, where she was photographed posing next to Zhang Meifang, China’s deputy consul general for New York. However, Tiffany Trump did tell the Observer this past September that her favorite designer is Andrew Warren, the Manhattan socialite behind the label Just Drew.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.