April 2021 General Conference Tie Tracker

A tradition now entering its 10th year and rooted in excellence will show us who truly dominates General Conference - by judging fashion.

Sweet moly we’re already at it again. Pandemics are weird, aren’t they? This will be our third General Conference without anyone in the main hall of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, and while we’ve adjusted to the format and even appreciated the slightly lower key nature of the proceedings, we hope everyone will continue to do their best to keep the pandemic at bay and get vaccinated if you are in a place to do so. Maybe in October we’ll see a Conference Center at socially distanced capacity! Honestly, that wouldn’t look much different than the pockets of empty seats we typically see during the Priesthood Session. Shame on you, conference goers!

If you’re new to tie tracking, it’s a fun little exercise that we’ve been doing for nine years where we keep a log of the colors, patterns, and styles worn by conference speakers. For the men, this mostly just means ties unless someone gets up there and does the right thing by invoking the memory of Craig Sager. For women, this typically means choices in blouse, blazer, and a necklace. We have pioneered the blazer-with-skirt combo!

We track the fashion trends in real time using the embedded charts below, and we’ll write a recap of every session as they close.

Typically blue and red duke it out for color supremacy, but everyone was feeling blue last October, and the cooler hue absolutely dominated the weekend. What will happen this time around? Will we see a surprising insurgency of purple? How many paisley ties will we see, if any? Will Sister Eubank look slightly too casual again? Will the non-American apostles continue to bless us with some of the better tie choices (save one President Eyring, who knows how to rock thick stripes better than anyone else)? Only time will tell.

Bookmark this page. Let us commence this noble exercise!

Sunday Afternoon Session

President Oaks wore the same red power tie he wore earlier today, when he was conducting, and since we already counted his tie in that moment, it did not help red’s cause during the final session.

Elder Dyches is a hero. He brought bronze back into General Conference with a tie that evoked a honeycomb. Sort of.

Intellectual Reserve

Either way, blue won the session—and the weekend—handily, just as it did six months ago. Are we all just feeling a little blue? When the pandemic ends, will we feel more aggressive and don red? Let us pray!

Patterns also ran away with both the Sunday morning session and the final tally. This was a massive blowout, taking approximately two-thirds of the total share. 

It’s been a great weekend! We wouldn’t have minded one or two more female speakers to get some better data on that front, but we get what we get. Until six months from now, when someone had better wear rainbow polka dots.

And, you know, 20 temples!

Sunday Morning Session

Elder Soares actually wore a suit with something of a pattern in it! Go Elder Soares!

Intellectual Reserve

And that tie. So light. So full of spring. It’s fun to see the more fashionable choices made by a few of the Brethren. Now if we can get one of them to embrace fully spread shirt collars we’ll be off to the races.

Blue came fighting back hard this session, serving as the dominant color for many ties and putting it in the lead among colors. Alas, the pastel violets of yesterday—arguably more Easter-like than dark blue ties with dots—are a memory of the past.

Patterns also came out swinging and are now creeping to a super majority. It’s hard to see them not winning the final tally, regardless of what happens in the Sunday afternoon session. 

Regardless, we must take a moment and appreciate Elder Teh’s outstanding golden, sort-of-paisley tie. He wins the session.

Intellectual Reserve

Priesthood Session

Nothing particularly notable happened during the Priesthod session in terms of tie tracking. It was our first paisley-less session thus far, a situation we hope will be remedied quickly tomorrow!

However, purple came fighting back, once again going back to the top of the color spectrum with a 28.3% share. Red is second with 25.6% and blue close behind with 24.3%. As the sessions go on, the sample size becomes greater, and it becomes increasingly difficult for one or two ties to swing the results. If purple can hang in there through the Sunday morning session tomorrow, it might have this in the bag.

We’ve been so obsessed with paisley that we haven’t discussed other patterns very much. To no one’s surprise, patterns are in the lead, followed by stripes. This is a common occurrence every conference, although right now patterns are way out in front. Only time will tell if stripes fight for equity.

Saturday Afternoon Session

What on earth is going on with paisley? We rarely see much paisley and now we’ve seen three ties in one day, two of them black! Elder Renlund’s gorgeous piece of sartorial bliss was almost not even missionary appropriate. Bless him.

Red and blue started fighting back during this session, with red now statistically tied with purple and blue nipping at their heels. With a priesthood session as part of this conference, we’re only 40% of the way to discovering tie dominance.

Much love to President Ballard for that purple-gold-pattern-checkered thing. He’s worn it before. It’s a bold move.

We just want to say thank you to Joy D. Jones. She would surely scoff at being praised for her service, but she’s been among the most notable Primary general presidents in recent memory.

Saturday Morning Session

Bless Elder Uchtdorf. What a gorgeous white and blue striped tie. We’re assuming he supports the Argentine National Football Team.

Also, a major south out to Joy D. Jones, the primary general president, for rocking a scarf of scarves. That was some bold style and great to see!

Let us take a moment to appreciate Brother Jan E. Newman of the Sunday School General Presidency. 

It’s violet. It’s paisley. It’s shimmery. It’s glorious.

The paisley brigade did not stop there! Elder Gary E. Stevenson pulled off a black paisley. Black. Like my heart! Have we ever had two paisleys in a row in a year that wasn’t 1974? Who knows!

Surprisingly, purple is currently the color leader, and dominantly at that. It’s unlikely that will last, as red and blue are likely to unseat it as the weekend goes on. Still, it’s great to see. Now if orange could make a stronger appearance as it did in the days of President Uchdorf making multiple pulpit appearances.

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