12 Powerful Fashion Moments From Female Politicians Over The Years
Don’t forget about them.
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It’s no secret women in politics have used their clothes and accessories to
send powerful messages
to their supporters (and opponents) over the years. The convergence between fashion and politics has birthed many memorable style moments, see some of them ahead.
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Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968. She celebrated her victory by flashing the peace sign to supporters and wore white to pay tribute to
the suffragist movement
— a move her female political successors have followed.
The style legacy of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy is still referenced in the fashion discourse today. Elements of her outfit from JFK’s Inauguration Day in 1961 — the beige coat dress, Halston pillbox hat, and elbow-length gloves — became
huge trends in the ‘60s
Geraldine Ferraro became the first female vice-presidential candidate of a major U.S. party in 1984 and accepted her nomination while wearing suffragette white. Thirty-six years later, on Nov. 7, 2020,
Kamala Harris officially became the first female VP
and also wore white.
Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used brooches to send political messages throughout her time in office.
According to NPR
, her wasp brooch was worn to deliver “stinging,” tough messages while crab and turtle-shaped pins represented slow-moving diplomatic relations.
Douglas Elbinger/Getty Images
Michelle Obama had a history of championing young designers from diverse backgrounds as a First Lady. Here, she wore a
Jason Wu one-shoulder white gown
to the 2009 Inaugural Ball, amplifying the brand and making the designer instantly more recognizable.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton’s preference for pantsuits
was well-known throughout her time in Washington. Taking a cue from the women before her, Clinton chose to wear a suffragist white suit while accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s love for collars
was well-documented, and they often served to reflect her approval or dissenting opinions in the supreme court. Her majority opinion jabot was a gold neckpiece while her
was a studded piece from
Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images
During Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019, Democratic women all wore white to honor the women's suffrage movement and to show solidarity with one another. “This is a sign of women empowerment and unity,” Representative Nydia Velázquez said to
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Vice President Kamala Harris
wore a purple ensemble from Christopher John Rogers on Inauguration Day in 2021, which reportedly contained
many meanings, including bipartisanship
as it combined Republican red with Democrat blue.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden made her fashion mark on Inauguration Day in 2021 while wearing a
blue Markarian dress and coat
, which symbolized “trust, confidence, and stability.”
Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images
Delegate to United States House of Representatives
made national news in Feb. 2021, both for her superhero cape dress and for her speech in support of impeaching former President Donald Trump.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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