Hillary Clinton showed up to the inauguration today in a pantsuit. But not any old pantsuit: a white pantsuit.
Yahoo! Style chimed in on the significance of Hillary’s outfit — or, at least, the potential significance.
“White has been the color (rather, the lack thereof) of choice for women standing up for their rights throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, a nod to the suffragist movement in which women fought for the right to vote. Wearing white, as Yahoo Style has noted before, was an act of defiance during suffragist protests, most likely to claim a color so closely associated with purity, weddings, and youthfulness.”
— Adam Storm (@AdamStormHits) January 21, 2017
The news source further explained that the white pantsuit also harkens back to an important time in her race for president.
“Similar to the ivory Ralph Lauren pantsuit Clinton wore to the Democratic National Convention and to the third presidential debate, Friday’s Ralph Lauren suit with cashmere cream coat is a fitting choice for the candidate.”
Hillary Clinton is a politician that many women find inspirational — largely because of her passionate feminism.
By wearing a white pantsuit, Clinton is making a strong statement about who she is, who she has been, and who she will continue to be — especially in relation to her supporters and to the public. The image of wearing white or pantsuits stands for her activism, for her motivations and for her passion in the public realm.
It is a symbol that her supporters know and love. During the election, many voters wore white or pantsuits (or both) to the polls to show their support for Hillary and what she stands for.
Yahoo! Style commented on the trend.
“This mass sartorial statement wasn’t a coincidence. A Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation […] called on its more than 2 million members to ‘wear a pantsuit on November 8. You know why.’ […] While most [were] in pantsuits as a nod to the former Secretary of State’s preferred style, others [wore] white, the official color of the suffrage moment.”
One voter, Julie Fredrickson, noted that the term “pantsuit” is actually only used because it is being worn by a woman.
“I wore red, white and blue makeup — blue smokey eye with white full liner, scarlet lipstick for the woman that fought before me — and a pinstripe three-piece suit. Because it is only called a ‘pantsuit’ because I’m a woman.”
“I’m wearing [a pantsuit] because I was told that female lawyers should always interview in skirts,” Valerie Sussman, another voter, explained. “I got my first job out of law school wearing a pantsuit and I’m proud of it. Plus, even though my daughter isn’t old enough to appreciate the significance of this day, I know she will want to look back someday and see what this day meant to me.”
The female solidarity and equality found in Clinton’s image was present then, and her choice of fashion today appears to be a statement that she is still committed to her supporters.
It is interesting, however, that Hillary was not the only woman wearing white at the Inauguration. Ivanka and Tiffany Trump both wore white, while Melania Trump donned a sophisticated and Jacqueline Kennedy-esque light blue dress, gloves, and jacket.
“White was a ubiquitous shade during last year’s election season and continues to be in the new administration,” USA Today said regarding the fashion statement set by Ivanka and Tiffany.
— Kennedy Copeland (@kpconservative) January 20, 2017
It’s true. It does seem to be a “ubiquitous shade” in this new administration — but not just because of Ivanka, Tiffany, or even Melania. Hillary may have lost the election, but her choice of outfit suggests that she will also be active during this administration. She’s still here, and she is still as passionate about her endeavors as ever.
[Image by Saul Loeb, Pool/Getty Images]