8 Times White Outfits Made a Political Statement, Including VP-Elect Harris

On Saturday, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris joined a long list of women to use fashion as a political statement. In her victory speech after becoming America's first-ever female VP, she wore a head-to-toe white outfit that included a pantsuit by Carolina Herrera, a silk pussy-bow blouse by Tory Burch, and her signature pearl jewellery. (No, the fact that these are female-founded brands is probably not coincidental.) 

White has long been associated with the women's suffrage movement that began in the 1840s and aimed to grant women the right to vote (which didn't happen until 1920). Women would wear white dresses with white sashes in suffrage parades. White symbolized purity and they also wore purple to signify loyalty and gold to represent hope. It's also a particularly timely homage because 2020 is the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote. Scroll down to revisit some memorable nods to suffragette white

white as symbol of women's right to vote

Photo:

Getty Images

Our new VP-elect celebrated her historic win on Saturday night and certainly dressed the part. 

On Kamala Harris: Tory Burch blouse; Carolina Herrera pantsuit

white as symbol of women's right to vote

Photo:

Getty Images

In a sweet nod to the next generation of female leaders, VP-elect Kamala Harris's grandnieces both wore white outfits with adorable Dr. Martens boots for the victory speech on Saturday. 

symbolic white outfits

Photo:

Getty Images

For the State of the Union speech in February 2019, the Democratic Women's Working Group encouraged women of both parties to wear white to pay respects to the women's suffrage movement.  

white as symbol of women's right to vote

Photo:

Getty Images

In January 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white pantsuit to be sworn in as the youngest congresswoman ever elected. She later explained her intent: "I wore white today in honor of the women who came before me, and the women yet to come," Ocasio-Cortez said. 

white as symbol of women's right to vote

Photo:

Getty Images

Hillary Clinton wore suffragette white when she became the first female presidential nominee for a major political party. 

white as symbol of women's right to vote

Photo:

Getty Images

Hillary Clinton also wore all-white to attend Donald Trump's Inauguration in 2017. 

Meghan Markle spoke to Gloria Steinem in August 2020 about the importance of women voting. It's perhaps no coincidence that she chose the color of the suffragette movement, including Anine Bing pants and a white tee. She also wore white for some of her biggest moments of all time, including the announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry and baby Archie's debut to the world. 

politicians wearing white outfits

Photo:

Getty Images

For the very first stop of her popular Becoming book tour in November 2018, Michelle Obama chose head-to-toe white. More of her memorable white outfits include her first Inaugural Ball dress by Jason Wu and a white Tom Ford gown for an event with Queen Elizabeth. 

Shop Female-Founded Brands

Related Stories