Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's impeachment outfit is dripping in symbolism—here's what we think it means
On Wednesday, December 18th, the House of Representatives voted on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The inquiry, which began in September after a whistleblower complaint surfaced regarding a call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, included days of witness testimony to both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
At the end of the inquiry, the Democrat-led House called for an official vote on whether or not to impeach the sitting president.
Heading into the chambers to take the vote, many of the women Democrats in the House used their outfits to represent the mood of the historic day.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with several other members, showed up to the chambers dressed in head-to-toe dark colored outfits, almost as if in mourning. Since the beginning of the inquiry, Pelosi has maintained that the process is “sad” for the country, and the women’s choice to wear all dark colors seems to have the same symbolic significance as dressing in black for a funeral.
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went a step further by wearing a dark plum pussy-bow blouse, a style that became significant when Melania Trump wore a pink version during the 2016 debates. Her fashion choice appeared to be a display of defiance aimed toward her husband after his hot mic tape, where the President said he could grab women “by the pussy,” was leaked.
This would not be the first time women in Congress coordinated their style choices to highlight the significance of a particular moment. During the swearing-in ceremonies in 2018, some freshman members like Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wore white to create a visual tribute to suffragists and celebrate how far the movement had come. Then, again, during the State of the Union address in 2018, the women in the Democratic party wore white to highlight their opposition to many of the president’s policies.
Of course, politicians aren’t the only ones to make political statements with their clothing. One of the best examples of mass protest using coordinated outfits in recent history was during the 2016 Golden Globes. At the ceremony, which was during the height of the #MeToo movement almost all of the women wore black to raise awareness about sexual assault and pay discrepancy in the industry.
Similar to the Golden Globes, Wednesday’s sartorial fashion choices had a decidedly more somber tone than others we have seen, but nonetheless showed how fashion in politics is not just a superficial choice, but rather one that asks us to look at the full picture of history-making moments.
This story originally appeared on InStyle.com by Alyssa Hardy.