Given all of the discussion about whether certain Trump-licensed products actually exist or not — Trump Steaks being the best example — we thought we’d try to score at least one of them. In our particular case, a Donald J. Trump Signature Collection suit. It wasn’t easy. His official merch site takes you to Amazon Fashion, where both sizes and options are limited. We had better luck on eBay, where we found the suit for the low, low price of $144.25 (down from $650). In fairness, we were able to find a Trump button-down, Trump tie, Trump cufflinks and Trump tie clip on Amazon. Next, we handed off the black pinstriped jacket and pants as well as all of their attendant accessories to realtor Jason Cole, one of the last men in America to wear a suit to work everyday. Because who better to judge the fit and feel of a Trump suit than a man who spends most of his waking hours in a suit and tie?
I got into commercial real estate right after college. When I started, I definitely wasn’t a suit-and-tie guy. My style was more flip flops and shorts. But at my first job, I learned quickly that you needed to dress the part — even if you don’t feel it right away. Eventually, though, dressing for success grows on you and it becomes habitual. The company I’m at now is more of a boutique firm so it’s a little more relaxed. You can do Casual Fridays. But when you’re pitching a group of investors or wealthy property owners, you dress to impress. That includes showing up in a suit and tie.
Today, I have about six suits in all. I’m not the $4,000 bespoke suit buyer. But I’m also not interested in cheap suits. I just want to find a quality suit at a good price — generally somewhere between $300 and $500. None of them are flashy, i.e., I try never to go too dark or aggressive with colors.
That’s what worried me most about the Trump suit. He’s always wearing this blue suit on the campaign trail that looks too shiny for him. And everything about him is ostentatious. I figured his line of suits would be the same. But I was pleasantly surprised: It was a good-looking black suit with a thin pinstripe that wasn’t too pronounced. Then I saw the original price; I think it was $650. If I was going to spend $650 on a suit, I’d want one of much higher quality. For $145, though, it wasn’t bad.
The only real Trump flair was on the inside of the jacket. Most jackets have a little piece of cloth near the collar that’s hardly noticeable and that you can use to hang on a hook. But not the Trump suit. On the Trump suit, there’s a full-on gold chain. It looks like something out of The Godfather. He has his name — DONALD J. TRUMP — imprinted on it, too. His name was also on a label on the bottom inside portion of the coat; there, it was written in gold letters on top of a black insignia. In other words, he made sure to leave no question about who made the suit. Or where it was made: The words MADE IN CHINA are right above the gold chain.
The tie, however, was a different story. It was a very in-your-face shade of red, somewhere between the color of a Ferrari and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s snout. It was impossible to tone down and harnessed Trump’s whole aura. The suit being black made it stand out even more. It made me uncomfortable and a little off-center. It’s just not my personality.
The cufflinks and tie clip were even worse. They were diamond-studded and looked like they were from Claire’s. I felt like I was wearing stage-prop jewelry. As such, I decided I would keep on the jacket as much as possible during the day so no one would ever see them. Overall, I just kept telling myself, “I’m going to get through this and hopefully not too many people will notice what I’m wearing.”
At my first meeting of the day, I met with a client who I was working with to find new office space. He and I had met a few times before, which meant he’d seen how I typically dress. He never mentioned anything outright to me, but I definitely noticed some awkward glances. I felt like he was thinking the whole time, “Why are you wearing that?!?!?” I think if it had been the first time we met, the suit would have completely dominated the conversation.
That said, the reaction was way more normal than I expected. When I got back to the office, I was talking to one of my colleagues and he didn’t mention it at all. After a while, I said to him, “What do you think of my suit?” The only thing he said was, “I think it’s nice.” No one else at the office noticed either. They just talked to me as if I was wearing a normal suit and tie. I was stunned. I expected stares. But eventually, I started to ignore it, too. Because by a certain point in the day, I’d worn it long enough that it didn’t seem like a big deal any longer — even more so because no one else seemed to care.
I didn’t wear it again until Rosh Hashanah. Though for the high holiday, I ditched the cufflinks; they didn’t feel appropriate for synagogue. It was mainly to prank my mother. I’m actually a Trump supporter. As ridiculous of a person as he is, I’m planning to vote for him. My mother, on the other hand, couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to me politically. We don’t even talk about the election anymore because she can’t handle it. I think it’s the first time in my life that she’s ever been disappointed in me. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to her reaction. But first, I wanted to see what my dad thought.
Per usual, I sat next to him at temple. He almost always comments on my suit. He’ll touch my arm, feel the fabric of my jacket and say something like, “That’s a nice suit.” I was waiting for him to do it the entire day. But for the first time in 20 years, he never did.
At a certain point, I couldn’t take it any longer. I leaned over to him and said, “I just got this suit. How do you like it?”
“I like it a lot,” he told me. “It’s really nice.”
That’s when I opened my jacket.
My dad has horrible vision; he’s almost blind. So I tried to get as close to him as possible. He strained to read the label, but after a couple of seconds, he said, “Does that say Trump?!?!?”
He tried to control himself because it was very quiet in synagogue. But he couldn’t. He was laughing so hard that he lost it.
My mom was a different story. After temple, we got back to the house we were staying at for the holiday. I walked into the kitchen, where she was sitting, and asked her the same question I asked my dad: “How do you like my suit?”
She responded in almost the same way, too: “It looks great on you!”
“Look at the inside of it,” I responded. I showed her the label, and her face turned white. Her lips were stuttering, as if she was shivering.
“No, no, no,” she kept saying. “Please don’t tell me you bought a Trump suit. Please don’t tell me you gave that man any money.”
She was beside herself. After a while, though, she laughed about it. She still, however, won’t talk to me about the election. And she’s instructed anybody that’s within her vicinity not to bring it up either because she can’t handle the conversation any more.
I’m not sure about the next time I’ll wear my Trump suit. But I’ll likely wear it at some point again in the future. I don’t have a black suit, and it’s good enough for certain occasions. It’s certainly perfect for a funeral. Select formal events, too. You’ll never get me to wear that tie again, though. And I can’t exactly say I recommend a Donald J. Trump suit. Basically for one main reason: There are far better suits out there that are far less controversial.
— As told to Josh Schollmeyer