Speculation was that Melania would not attend her husband’s first SOTU; but she was there, and other than arriving own her own instead of accompanying the president like most FLOTUS do, it looked like it would be business as usual; however, eyebrows were raised when she showed up in a Christian Dior pantsuit with a white Dolce & Gabbana shirt.
Yes, a white pantsuit. An attire which became emblematic of another first lady; one who almost made it back into the White House as the first female POTUS.
Let us take a little look back to see the significance of Melania’s outfit choice for her first appearance at a SOTU.
Hillary Clinton wore a white pantsuit designed by Ralph Lauren for her speech accepting the Democratic nomination. It was a historic event, the first time a woman won the presidential nomination of a major political party. Hillary chose to wear white to mark that moment. From then on, the white pantsuit became synonymous with her. The white pantsuit also became a symbol of feminism and resistance.
But why did she chose white?
The Telegraph reported that white was a color often used by British and American women in the Suffragette movement when protesting. The Suffragette’s used fashion to create their own political identity to advance their cause. White was worn by them to signify purity.
Hillary wearing white was also seen as a tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, who wore white when she accepted the nomination to become the first female candidate for vice president for a major American political party at the 1984 Democratic convention.
Hillary Clinton also wore a white pantsuit for her third and final debate with Donald Trump.
On election day countless Hillary voters wore white. Then, on inauguration day January 2017, Hillary attended the event dressed in white.
So to some, it seemed too much of a coincidence that Melania would wear an outfit that is so emblematic of Hillary Clinton. Twitter was abuzz with comments.
Melania Trump is sporting a white pantsuit — a favorite sartorial choice of Hillary Clinton and a color once worn by Democrats to protest President Trump — to the #SOTU… https://t.co/TSbDMJzm5i pic.twitter.com/MIWe1hfvZS
— Judy Kurtz (@JudyKurtz) January 31, 2018
I thought I saw Hillary Clinton wearing a white pantsuit, but no it was Melania Trump dressing like HC pic.twitter.com/FRro9RFkmJ
— Moorkk A (@Moorkk) February 1, 2018
— Not on my watch! ????????????????⚓ (@myvoicemargaret) January 31, 2018
— Jackie_O_Classist (@JackyOhClassist) January 31, 2018
But not everyone agreed. According to The Hill, Melania could have worn white to show contrast with many Democratic women in Congress who chose to dress in black to show solidarity with the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements against sexual misconduct; but if this is the case, why a white pantsuit?
Unless Melania comes out and says why she chose to wear such particular ensemble for this occasion, which is highly doubtful, the white pantsuit mystery will continue.