If you’ve lost count of how many times, in recent years, we’ve seen female politicians clad all in white, paying tribute to the suffragettes who marched a century ago, I understand. At this point, it’s as predictable as pinning a tiny American flag to your lapel. Here’s a little recap:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 wearing a white pantsuit. Then Ivanka and Tiffany Trump attempted to make it their own with white ensembles at their father’s inauguration in 2017. More than two years later, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi chose a white suit to announce the start of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Democratic women in the House of Representatives have turned up in white repeatedly, including at a presidential address to Congress in 2017 and State of the Unions in 2019 and 2020. And did you catch AOC’s Vanity Fair cover this month?
But last night, finally, the white suit was worn in victory.
Senator Kamala Harris wore the white pantsuit as it had never been worn before: in her first public appearance as the Vice President-Elect. The daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris made history; a white suit was the obvious, fitting choice for the evening. And yet, when she walked on stage in the dark of night, a shining ray of light clad ivory, I gasped. For the first time, a woman is headed to the White House—and the white suit now stands for so much more. It’s no longer about the hope of higher office but the achievement of reaching it.
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