Much has been said about a certain accessory they differ on (ahem, face masks), but there are, in fact, many more differences between their two wardrobes — or at least, the way said wardrobes are tailored.
You don’t need to be an expert to see some of those contrasts, but you do need to be one to explain how they impact each man’s look. So we called on Fresh, a Los Angeles-based expert tailor and clothing designer, to help break it down.
“The first thing to look at is the shoulder,” Fresh told HuffPost over the phone Wednesday. “Biden’s suit sits right on the shoulder, which allows the chest to sit right, the sleeve to fall beautifully.”
Trump, on the other hand, typically opts for a larger suit, one with shoulders that do not sit directly on his actual shoulders. That, Fresh said, can set up an entire suit for failure.
“It creates more room in the chest, you’ll see ripples in the chest,” he said. “It’s making everything else sit off, creating more space in the body. You can’t get around doing the shoulder right; if it’s too big, you’ll end up with a jacket that is so disproportionate.”
The same can be said of Trump’s pants, which Fresh called “huge.”
“They’re huge in the thigh and around the knee and calf,” he said. “They’re so wide that, when he is standing with his feet a foot apart, his pants touch. They should not be touching.”
A slimmer, more detail-oriented fit reads more youthful and modern, while a larger and more relaxed suit, Fresh said, may speak to a different audience, but could also show a lack of confidence.
“When you have more clothes than body in the clothes, you’re showing the viewer you’re trying to hide something,” Fresh said. “The full leg on Trump, you could hide something in there if you wanted to.”
Biden, on the other hand, has Fresh’s seal of approval in the pants department.
“Biden’s break sits right at the top of his shoe,” he said. “Even though he’s moving and walking, you can still see it hits right at the top. He’s not showing his whole sock off, he’s not trying to look super cool or like a teen, the whole leg fits great.”
There are a few things, according to Fresh, that both men get right when it comes to their suiting.
“Surprisingly, they both observed the button rule,” he said. The button rule supposedly dates back to the early 1900s, when King Edward VII was “too fat” to button his bottom button, thus beginning the trend that holds true today.
“A lot of men’s sport and suit jackets have two buttons,” Fresh said. “A lot of times you see guys button both; that’s what we call a faux pas ― do not do it. Fashion mistake. If you’re wearing a two-button jacket, you only button the top. If it’s three, you can button the top and middle, but never the bottom.”
Fresh also commended both men on their jacket and sleeve length, adding that he might even shorten Biden’s sleeve by a half-inch.
Ultimately, Fresh said the tailoring on Biden’s suits and details like pocket squares make him look more youthful, confident and ready.
“The presidency isn’t about health and physical fitness, but Biden looks like a young man, like he could go toe to toe with anyone,” he said. “He looks confident and, in my opinion, gives a look of readiness. Whereas a more conservative, looser fit looks like he might be ready to go do something else.”