Neckwear Grades for the GOP AZ Debate

I’ve been grading the neckwear of the GOP contenders for the nomination since the get go.  This is not a political post and has nothing to do with any of the policies espoused.  Instead this is all about their neck ware!  Sartorial elegance in candidates seems to have been lost; Huntsman had the highest average grades overall. To avoid any allegations of rights infringements, I will not take screen captures of CNN’s coverage.  Instead, you can see it here.


  • GingrichB- – Good color.  I like the purple.  I really like the purple. This tie is certainly more lively than the previous colors he has used and has a better knot.  He has been pretty sloppy in previous debates. No dimple and the knot isn’t centered on his collar.  Better, but still not quite there. On the close ups, you can see the tie being uncomfortably scrunched where he pulled it through. His suit is definitely too big in the shoulders, but he doesn’t have the overly large suit problem that Rep. Paul has.
  • PaulB – the master of the overly large suit continues his trend here.  I do wonder if he has had these suits for a while and used to be a bit bigger in the chest or shoulders.  Good color and pattern on the tie.   The rich red is a classic GOP call, but the pattern certainly sets it apart.  Classic and symmetrical knot, but no dimple.  I will note he eschewed any lapel pins unlike the other three.
  • RomneyB+ – Polished.  The stripes are a good pattern, but not too out there to set him as much of a maverick.  He has the best ratio of knot size to collar size.  The knot itself is clean and well tied, but I am dinging him for no dimple.
  • SantorumA – The most inconsistent so far.  He got better advice as the race dragged on with regard to his ties. The color is different from different cameras on my view, but I give him the benefit of the doubt that it is the richer purple than the lilac it can see. Looks like a half-windsor.  Just askew enough to look rakish, but not sloppy.  It has a good dimple; an off-center dimple makes it look like he knows how to tie a tie but wasn’t trying to be “perfect.” I am impressed.

My take on the neck ware grades for the Arizona GOP debate.  I would have loved to have seen a pocket square show up in one of the 19 debates we have had. I don’t remember a single pocket square or tie bar in this series of debates.  When, and why, did we accept presidential contenders who are not dressed well?