Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday night by becoming the first woman ever to win a major party nomination for U.S. president. The moment transcended what she was wearing, although Clinton’s sharp white suit also garnered plenty of support and compliments.
Clinton was known as the anti-fashion queen of pantsuits in her 30-plus years in politics, but she gradually started using her wardrobe—and the fashion industry—as important branding tools to communicate her key messages. Earlier this year, the self-proclaimed “pantsuit aficionado” was featured in the March 2016 issue of Vogue (with portraits by Mario Testino). Anna Wintour has been hosting fund-raisers for the candidate, even donning a Hillary Clinton T-shirt at Marc Jacobs’s fall 2016 show. Indeed, it’s been reported that the editor has been advising Clinton on her wardrobe choices for this year’s campaign trail, according to The Business of Fashion. Clinton has also hired Kristina Schake, Michelle Obama’s former aide, to help shape her style.
In honor of last night, let’s take a look back at some of Clinton’s most significant outfits.
The White Suit, 2016
Clinton chose a crisp white suit (update: The suit was designed by Ralph Lauren, a representative from the brand confirmed with Allure) rather than one of the colorful ones she’d worn along the campaign trail. The look was flattering and did not distract from her powerful speech. Also worth noting: Whether it was intentional or not, white was one of the official colors (along with purple and gold) of the women’s suffrage movement. Fictional character Olivia Pope from the political drama Scandal wore a similar white suit in season four.
The Tweed Suit, 2012
At the Women in the World summit in 2012, Clinton wore a turquoise-and-black bouclé jacket with black pants. It wasn’t the only time she wore a Chanel-esque jacket that year. Clinton is also a fan of the French brand’s white J12 diamond watch.
The Black Pantsuit, 2008
Clinton wore a simple black pantsuit with a subtle silver necklace when President Obama nominated her for Secretary of State in 2008. Again, no distraction from a major, career-defining moment.
The Blue Pantsuit, 2001
Clinton celebrated her victory of becoming a member of the U.S. Senate in a blue pantsuit, proving that her personal style and fondness for pantsuits had been a long time in the making. When she was elected, she was the first American first lady to ever win a public-office seat.
The Pink Skirt Suit, 1995
As first lady, Hillary Clinton frequently experimented with her look. Case in point: a pink skirt suit with matching gold details and red sunglasses. As she got further into politics, she simplified her style with minimal accessories and plenty of pantsuits in primary hues.