Hillary Clinton said she started wearing pantsuits instead of skirt suits after someone used an up-the-skirt shot of her in an ad campaign

left: an older hilary clinton in a dark red pantsuit at a red carpet premiere, she has her hands clasped in front of her and is smiling; right: a younger hillary clinton in the early 90s, wearing a bright red skirt suit and smiling as she walks on the white house portico
Hillary Clinton has become known for her pantsuit fashion, but she wore skirt suits during her days as first lady in the 1990s.Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images; Dirck Halstead/Getty Images
  • Hillary Clinton said she stopped wearing skirt suits when someone took an up-the-skirt photo of her.

  • The photo was used in a lingerie advertisement campaign in Brazil.

  • Clinton has since become known for her signature pantsuits.

Hillary Clinton revealed the incident that made her switch over to her signature pantsuits in the late '90s, saying that a photographer took an up-the-skirt shot of her and used it in an advertisement.

In the third episode of "Gutsy," the Apple TV+ series that Clinton hosts alongside her daughter Chelsea, the former Secretary of State said during a storytelling workshop that she likely hadn't worn a skirt "since 1999."

When she and her husband Bill Clinton traveled to Brazil during his presidency in 1995, Clinton said that she was wearing a "first lady skirt suit" during a visit to the country.

"We had a nice conversation, the press came in, they had what's called a press spray, so they had all these photographers," Clinton said. "So, we finished the meeting, we finished the visit, I go back to the White House, and somebody has taken a picture up my skirt, and has billboards in Rio selling a certain brand of underwear."

a group of suit-clad women arranged in two rows, with four sitting on a bench in front and eight arranged in a row behind them. they are of varying ethnicities and are all wearing brightly colored suit jackets
A group of first ladies from the Americas at a tea hosted by Hillary Clinton in March 1993.EUGENE GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images

As the Associated Press reported in 1995, the advertisement in question was for the lingerie company Duloren, and showed Clinton seated along with a glimpse of fabric that may have been her underwear. Per the Associated Press, text accompanying the photo read, in Portuguese, "Mr. President of the United States of America: Your Excellency can't imagine what Duloren can do." The advertisement was eventually pulled.

Clinton has since become known for her pantsuits, which have been a hallmark of her personal style. As Insider previously reported, Clinton was the first presidential spouse to wear a pantsuit for her official first lady portrait, which was unveiled in 2004. She also cracked pantsuit jokes on the 2016 campaign trail.

The former Democratic nominee said that while the advertisement wasn't fully revealing, it was still "suggestive."

"That did affect my thinking," she said. "And then I was gonna run for office and thought, 'I don't need that. Put on a uniform, put on a uniform.'"

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