Presidential debate fashion: A red suit for Clinton, a blue tie for Trump

APTOPIX Campaign 2016 Debate
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton laughs with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump following their presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Before the verbal jabs began to fly during Monday night's first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democratic and Republican candidates shook hands each wearing the opposing team's colors.

Clinton appeared ready to rumble in a smart red pantsuit with a round-collared blazer a smidgen longer than standard length, but shorter than Clinton's now-iconic elongated jackets. She paired the suit with stand-out  golden stud earrings and a gold chain bracelet. Clinton's hair -- is that balayage I see? --was amazing in all of its blond, feathered glory.  Her look was a touch glamorous and very steadfast.

Trump opted for a deep navy blue suit, and his tie was a burning cobalt. The hair was smoother than usual. (Good job, stylists.)  And his face,  well, was less fakey spray tan orange.  Trump appeared cool, calm and collected. Agreeable, even.

But the power of stylish suggestion, that Republicans and Democrats can actually see each other's point of view, ended right there. The Hofstra University-set debate went on to be a hotly contested back and forth about economy, foreign trade and race relations. So this surprising --  if not trite -- attempt to manipulate optics was nothing more than a meaningless fashion switcheroo.