An author at the New York Times ripped Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for her white pantsuit look, but praised Hillary Clinton for the same thing in 2016.
Vanessa Friedman, chief fashion critic for The NYT, wrote Thursday that Gabbard’s “white pantsuit isn’t winning.” Gabbard has stood out from her competitors during debate season with an all-white pantsuit, and Hillary often made the same fashion statement when she ran for president.
In 2016, the same fashion critic wrote multiple articles praising Hillary’s“presidential” white pantsuit. Friedman hailed the outfit as “supremely unflappable” and a “power uniform” when Hillary did it, but Gabbard’s same gear left “a chill,” according to her article Thursday. It even compared her outfit to that of “cult leaders.”
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“The Democratic presidential candidate has made white the staple of debate night appearances. It leaves a chill,” the article on Gabbard reads, continuing on to talk about how it apparently sets her apart in a bad way.
Her white suits are not the white suits of Ms. Clinton, nor even the white of Ms. Williamson, whose early appearances in the shade often seemed tied to her wellness gospel and ideas of renewal and rebirth. Rather, they are the white of avenging angels and flaming swords, of somewhat combative righteousness (also cult leaders). And that kind of association, though it can be weirdly compelling, is also not really community building. It sets someone apart, rather than joining others together. It has connotations of the fringe, rather than the center.
Friedman, meanwhile, wrote that Hillary was “perfectly tailored and in control,” adding in 2016 that her white outfit was a nod to history, particularly the woman’s movement.
“In her white suit, with her white crew neck underneath, Mrs. Clinton looked supremely unflappable: perfectly tailored and in control,” one of Friedman’s articles reads. “Not a hair out of place (but some hair nicely waved). The kind of person who could carry the nuclear codes with aplomb. … Thursday night was Mrs. Clinton’s moment, and one for all women. Her clothes simply gave her the means to amplify her message.”