The Hidden Message in Hillary Clinton’s All-White Pantsuit


Hillary Clinton dressed in white to accept the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday evening. There may be a historical reason why. (Photo: Getty Images)

Want to move into the White House? Then wearing a white suit is a pretty good place to start.

On Thursday evening, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wore all white to accept her party’s nomination during the closing night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. And her color choice may have contained several layers of nuance.


Photo: Getty Images

The suffragettes who fought so tirelessly for women to gain the right to vote 100 years ago notably wore all white during their protests to demand that this constitutional right be applied not just to men. Many on social media were quick to point out that surely Clinton knows this — and wore white in part to honor those who fought for the vote, the original crack in that highest glass ceiling, now shattered.

In all white, Clinton also seemed to be asking America to leave its preconceived notions of her at the door, to approach her with a clean slate that’s free of ridicule and stereotype.

And indeed, in all white — a color Clinton usually eschews in favor of bright jewel tones — Thursday night’s audience was able to listen to the candidate and woman who has been in the public eye for nearly three decades free of distraction. Clinton brought all eyes onto her face, asking voters to consider a vision for America that she billed as uplifting and inclusive, while presenting her rival nominee Donald Trump’s vision as dark and morose.


Melania Trump wore a white dress by Roksanda Ilincic, a Serbian-born designer based in London, for her speech at the Republican National Convention. (Photo: Getty)

Also of note was the contrast between Clinton’s white suit and the tailored white dress — which was literally a bridal gown — worn at the Republican National Convention by her opponent’s wife, Melania Trump. While white on Mrs. Trump felt youthful, Mrs. Clinton’s white pantsuit read as mature and self-assured.

Clinton completed her look with a very subtle and personal touch, one that spoke to the person behind the political mythology — and the humanizing theme both Bill and Chelsea Clinton wove into their convention speeches. Around her neck was a thin gold chain with a small charm hanging from it — a gift from her husband, President Bill Clinton, in honor of their 40th wedding anniversary last year. It is no secret that the Clintons’ marriage has been complicated at times. Wearing the gift from her husband was a quiet statement that despite what naysayers might claim, the relationship they have with each other is strong and enduring.

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