• Luciana Vieira


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Fashion has become instrumental in the expression of politics in America. The elected vice president Kamala Harris delivered a victory speech Saturday night in a white suit in honor of the suffragettes of the 20th century. They battled to get women the right to vote.

Suffragists march through New York City on May 3, 1913 - Getty Images

In the early 1900s, the women's suffrage movement grew in the U.S. and Britain as women lobbying for the right to vote, organizing parades and marches, not unlike the ones we see today, establishing three identifying colors to wear to events. Because getting their message across was their primary concern, women conformed to the early 20th century's popular styles. They wanted to look presentable to the public, but this meant wearing the fashionable, not-quite floor-length walking dresses with a corset and a jacket. These garments did not offer full physical mobility, highlighting traditional ideas about femininity and a woman's place in society. Instead of challenging this entirely and rebelling through dress, the suffragettes decided to wear head-to-toe white, thus appropriating their femininity's visual indicators to serve their cause.

Chisholm, the first African American woman to be elected to Congress, dressed in all-white. Photos/Getty Images

Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress,[2] representing New York's 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. Recently many women politicians have worn the color as a political statement.

The elected vice-president pussy-bow top what appears to be Tory Burch's white silk bow blouse under her white suit, which is reportedly Carolina Herrera.

The pussy-bow blouse in politics was long associated with the first British woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher in a pussy-bow blouse in 1979. Photo: Clive Dixon/Rex Features

"While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last," Harris said to cheers outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. "Every little girl that's watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities."

Kamala Harris is making history on so many fronts. Kamala Harris broke gender and racial barriers as the first woman, first Black person, and the first person of Asian descent to be elected vice president. Harris also defeated Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 Senate election to become the second African American woman and the first South Asian American to serve in the United States Senate.

The Vice President-elect's acceptance speech will surely, and rightly, be remembered for the words of inspiration offered to women in America and worldwide. As she assumes the vice presidency, Harris' wardrobe choices will continue to generate discussion

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