As someone who occasionally wears a tie, I can state definitively: That's odd.
Deadspin's Ashley Feinberg did some legwork to figure out what was up.
Feinberg seems to be unaware that the “skinny part” is called the “tail,” and that the loop is called the “keeper loop.” But she's otherwise correct: Trump is taping the tail to the blade because the tail is too short to go through the keeper loop. That's what the keeper loop is for, to keep the tail and the blade moving together. But Trump's tie tail is too short — because his blade is too long.
I have used two of my ties to demonstrate the problem.
Notice that the neck loops of ties 1 and 2 are about the same size. (This type of knot is called a “four-in-hand,” apparently. I am learning a lot about ties today.) On tie 1, the tail is long enough to fit through the keeper loop, because the blade doesn't extend as far down. On tie 2, the blade extends further — and therefore the tail is too short to reach the keeper loop.
Now, it is not new that Donald Trump likes to wear his ties long. GQ actually ran a what-not-to-do photo spread focused on the fact that Trump wears his ties too long. Business Insider spoke with an expert who called Trump's tie length “ludicrous” and said it was “egregiously long.” His theory was that Trump bought Italian ties meant for larger, elaborate tie knots, but then tied only a regular knot. This Scotch tape incident (Tapegate) suggests that might not be the case; that, instead, Trump just likes a long tie.
("At its shortest, a man's tie should rest on the top of his belt,” Business Insider's Linette Lopez reported. “At its longest, it should end at the bottom of the belt. Ideally, though, a tie should hang somewhere in between the two.” Trump's ties often hang well below his belt.)
So what to do? There's a simple solution that's a bit more elegant than the Scotch tape system: Move the keeper loop. I mean, the easiest solution is to wear the tie right, but if you refuse to do so, move the keeper loop.
I called Alteration Specialists of New York, a small shop on Madison Avenue in Manhattan a few blocks north of Trump Tower. The woman who answered the phone was generous enough to price out the cost of moving the keeper loop further up the tie, explaining that it would cost between $20 and $25. Why the range? It depended on “what type of tie, how detailed it is and how it's made.” The tailor might need to do the work by hand, for example, which would presumably increase the cost by a bit.
One assumes that Trump has a tailor (though a tailor contacted by Jezebel seemed skeptical that Trump wears tailored clothes). If not, it's possible he'll have one once he gets to the White House. Bill Clinton, arriving from Little Rock, had to start from scratch once he won the presidency. Of course, he was willing to do so.
So we suggest simply bundling up all of Trump's ties, walking up to Alteration Specialists, and laying out a few hundred dollars to move those keeper loops up two inches. Or, I guess, you can just order four three-packs of Scotch tape for $17 online. At 300 inches of tape per roll, and assuming Trump uses 3 inches of tape on his tie each day, that's enough for 1,200 days of service — about enough for a full term.
As a man who prides himself on frugality (justifiably or not), I suppose we shouldn't be surprised if that's the option he picks.