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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.”