Of all the questions! People are seriously looking to Google to ask why Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wears only pants. In fact, it’s among the top five trending questions regarding Clinton, 68, on the day of the Monday, September 26, presidential debate.
Us Weekly spoke with image expert Richard Levick, who weighed in on the Oval Office hopeful’s commitment to slacks.
“The pantsuit has been a part of her campaign since the beginning. Hillary wearing a pantsuit is a way to get people to focus on her seriousness, to portray that she is serious about the job,” the CEO of Washington, D.C.-based LEVICK Strategic Communications — who does not work with the politician — tells Us. “Hillary’s campaign has never been about the clothing, it’s been about her substance, and that’s how she wants to keep it.”
The former first lady — whose political pursuits began in 1978 when she was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation — has been sporting trousers rather than dresses or skirts for the majority of her career.
As Levick explains, “It was common sense that a woman could not be president in people’s lifetimes,” which is why he believes Clinton has made a concerted effort to sport styles that are considered more masculine: She wants people to know that she is more than capable of holding office in a typically male-dominated field.
“The idea of a female president was seen as something that just couldn’t happen in the near future, and now it seems that America has joined the rest of the developed world in knowing that a woman is fully capable of running a country,” Levick says. “Hillary comes from a generation where times were different for women, and her running for president is still a huge deal to people of Hillary’s generation.”
But will Clinton wear a pantsuit when she goes head-to-head with Republican nominee Donald Trump at Monday night’s presidential debate? If the former Secretary of State wants to maintain her message, she should stick to her now-iconic look.
“Hillary wants people to focus on her being serious,” Levick adds. “The pantsuits convey that she is serious, and to change for the first debate would not help that.”
Levick believes that Clinton unfortunately faces a double standard as a female politician.
“I think if Hillary wore a dress it would make headlines as much as if Donald Trump came out in a dress tonight. Hillary is living by a double standard. If a man raises his voice and becomes authoritative, he is seen as strong. If Hillary does, she is accused of shrieking,” Levick says. “If Hillary wore a dress tonight it would be as radical and shocking as anything that she could say tonight. It would make all the headlines. Donald Trump will likely be wearing a dark suit, white shirt and blue or red tie, likely red.”
He continues, “It seems that Hillary has shattered the glass ceiling by running for president, but she still has to walk the runway. Her fashion choices are still being looked at in a completely different way than any male running for office.”
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