State of the Union Address Looks: Dress to Protest

Congresspeople stand against the administration at Trump’s State of the Union Address.  

By Jordan Lipkind


Congressional representatives cheer during President Trump’s State of the Union address

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Every year, the President delivers an address to the country informing Americans of the current state of the union. He typically highlights his achievements from the past year and tries to uplift Americans. This event provides members of Congress the perfect opportunity to silently protest. This year, in response to Trump’s controversial presidency, members of Congress dressed in order to send Trump a message: they will not be silenced.

Here are some fashion highlights from this year’s State of the Union Address, and the meaning behind them.

Women in White


Democratic women in Congress gather in a sea of white

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Democratic congresswomen arrived to the House Chamber in all-white outfits, contrasting with the dark suits worn by congressmen. Representative Lois Frankel refers to this as “suffragette white,” as this is what female suffragettes wore in protest to get the 19th amendment passed, giving women the right to vote. This statement was made in order  to highlight the progress women have been making in Congress, considering that we currently have the largest female population in U.S. Congress history. “Today we stand together wearing white in solidarity with the women of the suffrage movement who refused to take no for an answer,” Representative Brenda Lawrence says. “To an administration that has closed its eyes to women, we will be seen,”

In support of the women, democratic men styled their lapels with a white ribbon. Their bold fashion statement declared that women in congress are here to stay.

Powerful Pins


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others pose, proudly showing their unity

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The “ERA Yes” pin pictured was spotted on multiple Democratic Congresswomen. This is a call to President Trump and Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which guarantees equal rights to all, regardless of gender.

Multiple women were also seen wearing a Jakelin Caal pin. Caal was a seven-year-old guetmalan girl who died in US custody after crossing the southern border with her father. The pins, with her picture on them, were meant to honor Caal and raise awareness of the dangers of undocumented immigration, and how the US is failing to handle it.  Her death was a result of the lack of care that border patrol provided when she fell ill. This was an upsetting, and unfortunately common situation that congress members urge to be addressed through wearing this pin.

Best Dressed


AOC arriving in style

Carolyn Kaster/Shutterstock

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spiced up her white look with a cape from Zara, a bold red lip, and simple gold hoops. For her swearing in ceremony earlier this year, she also wore red lipstick and gold hoops - her staple. Her outfit was accessorized with three pins on her lapel, one being Jakelin Caal, one supporting the Working Families party, and the other stating, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” AOC is making government fun with her look while maintaining her bad-ass personality.


Nancy Pelosi applauds President Trump


The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is shown above applauding the fact that, according to Donald Trump, 58% of the newly filled jobs this year were women. As she stood, she was able to showcase her snatched look. While her blazer was ordinary, she accessorized with a brightly colored necklace and a gold broach. In all white, she proudly stood in solidarity with the other Democratic women of Congress, and looked great while doing it. Her hand crafted necklace was designed by Mariquita Masterson, a jewelry designer from Houston. There’s nothing more patriotic than supporting a small business.


Rep. Dean Phillips standing for equality

Rebecca Kaplan/Twitter

Finally, we have Representative Dean Phillips in an eye catching white suit seen circulating  on twitter. “Showing up all the men in the Democratic Caucus when it comes to honoring women. That’s commitment,” tweeted Representative Rebecca Kaplan. His look supported the empowerment of women, as he stood together with them in solidarity.  We love a man willing to make a statement for the advancement of women!

To all of our members of Congress, we thank you for fighting for our rights, and looking good while doing it!

Kate Regan