October 2019 General Conference Tie Tracker!

The greatest General Conference tradition returns, as our Tie Tracker augments everything about the best two weekends of the year.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re new here, welcome! If you’re an old hand, welcome back, and thanks for returning! Our Tie Tracker is one of  our oldest traditions here at This Week in Mormons, even predating our temple predictions and conference rumors. It might even be older than our noble effort to track Facebook followers of the Brethren.

But what is this all about? We’re glad you asked. Many moons ago, for no reason than our own amusement, we started engaging with the #Twitterstake and somehow wound up making note of speakers’ ties. Then we decided to track everything with spreadsheets and write about it. So here we are today, with full numerical analysis of the neckwear and clothing choices for men and women during General Conference weekend. There’s still no real purpose for it, but we did take some pride in being the first to call out the late Elder Robert D. Hales for wearing the same tie every conference, and then it was awesome when Elder Neil L. Andersen told the story about why.

So follow along this weekend. We’ll update the results in real time, which you can see in the embedded charts below. After every session, we will publish a synopsis. It’s pretty straightforward!

If you’d like to help with this noble effort, follow us on Twitter and tag us using the hashtag #TieTracker. We’ll be tweeting with General Conference insights along with Tie Tracking remarks. Plus, you don’t want to miss the Sunday Afternoon Patronus session!



Sunday Afternoon Session

This is the worst showing for red in recent or long-term memory! A distant third?! Purple a strong second? Typically, it’s something of a horse race between red and blue, but blue simply gobbled up red’s previous market share. This was a blowout, folks! A blowout for blue!

Patterned usually do pretty well during General Conference, but they also decimated the competition, totaling over twice as many as the runner-up – stripes.

We were thrilled to see President Ballard bring us the only straight-up polka dot tie of the conference.

Also, plaid! We rarely see plaid!

Sadly, no paisley this time around. We get some good paisley maybe every 18 months.

We miss Elder Uchtdorf in the First Presidency for many reasons, not least of which is because he’s one of the few leaders to change his tie every session, and that sartorial acumen affected the results of the Tie Tracker! However, we were happy to see President Nelson change ties between sessions on Sunday!

Thanks for joining us this year! We are grateful for your readership and hope you’ll join us for our weekly podcast and regular news coverage and other content that we produce here. You. Will. Be Blessed.

Until next time! Ties!

Sunday Morning Session

So many talks about understanding the nature of Satan and recognizing his influences!

Alright, so props to Elder Gonzalez for wearing blue plaid. So much plaid! We did not think we’d be plaiding it up. It’s rare in General Conference, but at this time of writing, over 9% of the ties worn have been plaid!

There have also been many weirdly patterned ties, perhaps best exemplified by that of one Elder Gary E. Stevenson. Bold, strange patterns all over the place.

Purple remains shockingly stronger than most previous conferences, vying with blue for the top spot. Red will have to surge dramatically in the closing hours to catch up. Just look at the numbers:

  • Red – 3.43
  • Blue – 9
  • Purple – 6.8

Red has to somehow net over 3.5 ties in the next session or be relegated to occupying the bronze tier on the podium. Unheard of.

Women’s Meeting

Three cheers for Sister Aburto. Best talk of the entire Conference thus far?

Speaking of the dear sister, her dress was difficult to categorize! So many patterns! So many colors!

Lisa Harkness didn’t make it any easier. Her pink/coral blazer was straightforward enough, but her dress was black with floral patterns. So busy!

And President Nelson wore a subtly patterned blue, shiny tie that reminded me of a tie I might have worn to a high school dance in the late 90s. Zoot suit riot!

Oh hey, and Goodbye, Laurels!

Saturday Afternoon Session

Bless President Nelson for wearing purple and wearing it ferociously. That tie was glistening! Speaking of glistening purple, L. Todd Budge also wore a violet piece of glory. Bless him. And blessings to Elder Rasband for that gorgeous bit of purple madness. Purple everywhere today.

Elder Cook also announced some new changes to the youth programs of the Church, nixing the Young Men’s presidencies. We’ll learn more about changes affecting Young Women tonight.

Elder Alvarado brought back checkered patterns! We don’t see that often, but we’ve also seen plaid today, so anything goes!

Red also overtook blue this session mostly due to Elders Cook and Alvarado. Blue is still going strong, but it was even eclipsed by purple this session! What will happen in the end? Will we finish the conference… in the red?

Saturday Morning Session

Elder Vinson won on two counts: his not-unattractive-but-not-attractive sort-of-plaid tie, and also his terrible joke about wifi and Nephi, which was top-level General Authority greatness. Elder Renlund also sported what might actually be one of the first purely turquoise ties we’ve ever seen, which, perhaps fittingly, matches the falls on the Congo River of which he spoke.

Red surged ahead as the session went on, but blue is strong out the gate today and shows no signs of abating. Every conference is typically a tug-of-war between the two colors, leaving their primary stablemate, yellow, in the dust. Power ties or bust!

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