US presidential election: Why women are wearing white to vote


Jenna Clarke

Female voters in the United States are being urged to wear white when heading out to cast their vote in the presidential election.

Supporters of Hillary Clinton have started a social media movement #WearWhiteToVote encouraging women to don white in memory of the suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in the US in the early 1900s.

The campaign appears to have grown organically without any official support from the Clinton campaign.

“They’re donning white blouses, pulling white pantsuits from closets or shopping for new ones, dressing babies in white onesies,” the Boston Globe reported. “Then they are heading to the polls to cast their vote to elect the person they hope will be the country’s first female president. 

“The colour white references the long fight women waged to gain the right to vote, an official colour of their movement, often worn by suffragists in protests in the early 1900s.”

White has been a popular colour of choice for the Democrat nominee during the long, nasty campaign trail to the White House, kicked off with the chantilly-cream coloured suit she wore at the Democratic National Convention in July when she accepted the party’s nomination.

It was a move many pundits suggested followed in the footsteps of Geraldine Ferraro who, in 1984, accepted the nomination as the first female vice-president. 

“The pantsuit stood out against the blue background, and in the sea of people,” The New York Times reported at the time. “But it was also layered with meaning, demonstrating that she understands the way fashion can be useful in contemporary politics and is willing to leverage that.

“That suit, quietly yet clearly, made reference to history, specifically the history of the women’s movement.”

She then peppered her campaign wardrobe with fifty shades of snow.

An ivory jacket here, a cream blouse there, until she went all white again for the final presidential debate in a woollen suit by Ralph Lauren.

Mrs Clinton, a self-described “pantsuit aficionado”, has reportedly been advised on her campaign wardrobe by Vogue editor-in-chief, and staunch supporter, Anna Wintour.

While it has never been confirmed, the fashion bible broke with tradition and endorsed Mrs Clinton for the top job when the US head to the polls on Tuesday.



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