Are Donald Trump’s Ties So Long Because He Thinks They Make Him Look “Thinner”?

At least he’s good for one thing…?

Donald Trump Addresses The National Association Of Home Builders Conference In Miami Beach
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Since there’s no news on when we’ll ever see an end to America’s partial government shutdown, it’s as good a time as ever to turn to some less consequential matters concerning the president—particularly ones that have fascinated and baffled the public for years now. While Donald Trump‘s seemingly endless stream of controversial comments while on the campaign trail in 2016 ensured that he got plenty of attention, he was also occasionally outshone—oddly enough, by his neckties.

For years now, Trump seems to have gone out of his way to only purchase ties that venture several inches below his waistband. His reasoning for doing so remains unknown—or did, anyway, until this Wednesday—which has only served to make the idiosyncrasy all the more intriguing. In 2017, the length of Trump’s ties even became subject to an entire Twitter account’s worth of ridicule. (The account, @TrumpsTies, is still alive and well, by the way.)

At long last, the mystery has finally been solved. That’s all thanks to one Chris Christie, who thankfully considered the matter to be of enough import to merit a mention in his forthcoming memoir, Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics. The book isn’t out until later this month, but The Guardian has already managed to get its hands on a copy, which it described as “explosive” on Wednesday—mostly for its condemnations of Jared Kushner, but also arguably for the revelation it supplies regarding Trump’s ties.

According to the Guardian, Christie’s memoir makes it clear that Trump has devoted a significant amount of their conversation over the past decade and a half to discussing “girth.” (They first met in 2002 over a dinner that Trump ordered for Christie, which consisted of scallops, which Christie is allergic to, and lamb, which he apparently detests.) Three years later, their dinners still weren’t going too well for Christie: another one in 2005 saw the future president inform the former New Jersey governor that he had to lose weight—and not just for vanity’s sake. As encouragement, Trump offered up this piece of advice: “You gotta look better to be able to win [in politics].” (Though if that were true, you’d have thought that by now Trump would have stopped eschewing tie clips in favor of Scotch tape.)

It wasn’t until 2016, though, that he offered Christie the advice that turned out to also hold the secret to his tie length: at one point while campaigning for the presidency, Trump apparently paused to exhort Christie to follow suit in taking up wearing longer ties, as they would make him appear thinner. And actually? That statement seems to hold true—if only because it certainly takes one’s eyes off the rest of the wearer. (It certainly doesn’t hurt that Trump also rarely wears a dress shirt without a coat or a blazer.) See for yourself; here’s a photo of Trump sans his favorite accessory, and sporting it as usual, less than a month later:

Left: Donald Trump at the opening of his golf course in Scotland on July 10, 2012. Right: Donald Trump at the opening night of *Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth* on Broadway in New York on August 2, 2012.

Getty Images

To be clear, we don’t take making side-by-side comparisons in service of better scrutinizing a celebrity’s body lightly. But given that Trump’s history of offering up his unsolicited—and often critical—comments on women’s appearances stretches back several decades, it doesn’t seem as if he has any objections to such a practice.

Related: Melania Trump Wore Tan Leather Pants That Matched Her Skin Tone a Little Too Well