President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress on Tuesday night didn’t say much about his plans for health care or immigration reform. But someone sure made some noticeable tweaks to his wardrobe.
Befitting an evening when he actually stuck to the script for once, it looks like Trump has been taking notes from the criticism and making some adjustments. The suit fit him well, his tie sat in a perfectly acceptable spot, and it didn’t even look like it might possibly be taped into place.
The shift was perhaps explained best by Washington Post’s fashion critic Robin Givhan. “The costuming fit the story line,” she wrote. “The script was not a fiery campaign rallying cry. It was a formal speech that had been fed into a Teleprompter and was being read live — in front of Congress, in front of citizens.”
And if the costume was strategically chosen to paint a different picture of the president, Givhan says the shift came through in his disposition, too. “The eye contact was off,” she said. “Trump seemed to be looking through people rather than at them. The head was tilted high and the neck looked strained. The resting expression remained more petulant than contemplative. Still, in a little more than a month after moving into the Oval Office, the optics are slowly taking shape.”
Trump wasn’t the only one in the room whose outfit made waves. Democratic women in the House showed up wearing white pantsuits in solidarity with the suffragist movement and “the women of our nation.”
If this new polished look is to become the norm, let’s hope the look translates into a more polished sense of professionalism, as well.