For Hillary Clinton supporters, Tuesday isn’t just Election Day. It’s pantsuit day, and these women (and some men) are dressing the part.
The decision to wear a pantsuit is an ode to Clinton’s iconic garb, but it’s more than just that.
The pantsuit is an emblem of women’s struggles and the long history of their fight for gender equality. The outfit is the symbol of the Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, which has become a safe space for Clinton supporters who face antagonism from family or friends.
Plus, the pantsuit is a subtle way to make a statement within the bounds of not wearing candidate paraphernalia to the polls, which is restricted.
Donald Trump supporters, on the other hand, are bringing out a trademark accessory of their own: the “Make America Great Again” hat.
The slogan harkens back to an idealized past that resonates with many voters. The hat, like the pantsuit, has become a symbol in and of itself.
Floridian Becky MacKenzie said she has a personal reason for supporting Clinton and wearing a pantsuit on Election Day.
“This is important to me because I’m living with cancer and repealing Obamacare would limit my options,” she said.
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I'm just wearing a #pantsuit today! #pantsuitnation #lovetrumpshate I early voted here in Southwest Florida. But I'm wearing my #pantsuit today! Because I have friends of different faiths. Because Black Lives Matter. Because I have cancer and Obamacare is important to me. Because my mother is amazing, taught me the importance of voting and took me to my first protest. For my Grandmother who isn't here to see HERstory today. Because I'm a strong, progressive, agnostic female. Because women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights. Because HERstory is MYstory. I believe!
MacKenzie sees the pantsuit as a sign of empowerment and solidarity, and said that the response to her outfit has been positive so far.
“It wasn’t too long ago that women couldn’t wear pants on the Senate floor,” she said. “Look at us now!”
Kate Albano from Georgia also took note of the symbolism of her outfit. Her pantsuit not only expresses solidarity with the pantsuit movement but also showcases white, a color the suffragettes used in the early 20th century.
“I am a woman in a corporate job, and I see so many parallels between what Hillary Clinton is experiencing and what all women experience in their professional lives,” Albano said.
She said the white pantsuit is a small way to express gratitude for Clinton’s attempt to crack the ultimate glass ceiling.