In 1910, the American Ladies’ Tailors’ Association created what it called the “suffragette suit”: a blouse, jacket and ankle-length divided skirt that permitted the wearer to take long, forceful strides on the road to voting rights. Long after women gained the right to vote (in 1920), they were still required to wear dresses or skirts on the floor of the US Senate. That rule stood until 1993, when Senators Barbara Mikulski and Carol Moseley Braun led a “pantsuit rebellion” that brought about amendments to the official dress code.
Clinton, of course, would have watched that rebellion from the White House. Since then she has embraced and encouraged her association with the once-derided style. The candidate’s first Instagram post, from June 2015, featured a rail of red, white and blue pantsuits, captioned with “Hard choices” (also the title of her bestselling memoir). Her Twitter bio reads, “Wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, 2016 presidential candidate.”