Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In Donald Trump’s White House, Female Staffers Must ‘Dress Like Women’

And sounds like men are required to wear ties.

Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham, Donald Trump, Miss Universe Gabriela Isler, and Miss USA Nina Sanchez attend The Eric Trump 8th Annual Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on September 15, 2014 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Leave it to beauty pageant owner and former reality TV star President Donald Trump to continue to judge physical appearances even after being named our country’s highest leader.

Several anonymous sources recently spoke with Axios about the dress code Trump expects from his employees, and it’s... something. When it comes to female staff, one source noted, the POTUS likes them “to dress like women.” Dresses are apparently preferred; if a female staffer wears jeans, they must “look neat and orderly.”

Trump has always been fixated on appearance — his own and others’ — and has no problem mocking people’s looks. He’s particularly harsh on women, as anyone who’s read the various accounts of his interactions with pageant contestants knows. Between that and his retrograde view of women, it’s not shocking that he’d require dresses for female staff members.

As it turns out, Trump’s male employees are also subject to scrutiny — particularly when it comes to their neckwear. “You're always supposed to wear a tie,” says one source. “If it's not a Trump tie, you can get away with Brooks Brothers. But I'd suggest Armani.”

Of course, that tie is only a small part of the polished aesthetic the president expects of his staff. “You need to have a certain look,” a source who’s worked with Trump explains. “That look — at least for any male — you have to be sharply dressed. Preferably, I would say, solid colors. You should have a good physical demeanor, good stature, hair well groomed.” It’s little wonder why Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer provoked such ire post-inauguration.

The only White House staffer who seems to be exempt from the POTUS’s dress code? Chief strategist Steve Bannon, who’s often photographed with an untucked shirt and an unbuttoned (and notably tie-free) collar. “Steve is Steve,” a source notes. “He's cavalier almost about what he wears.”

Watch: The Politics of Pockets