Conversations about Congressional wardrobes are about class and gender, too. Representative Cori Bush highlighted the importance of having these conversations.
Women on Capitol Hill face more scrutiny for their wardrobe than men do. No matter what a Congresswoman (or even a first lady) chooses to wear, they are likely to be slapped in the face by a barrage of negative comments. Perhaps no one knows this better than incoming Representative Cori Bush, who posted to Twitter about her wardrobe conundrums. As just a "regular person" who does not want to spend a ton of money on her outfits, she shared that she was planning to go thrift shopping for her Congressional wardrobe. Members of "The Squad" quickly weighed in with even more tips to save a dime while still looking professional.
"The reality of being a regular person going to Congress is that it’s really expensive to get the business clothes I need for the Hill," Bush originally posted. "So I’m going thrift shopping tomorrow. Should I do a fashion show?" Later on, she shared three photos of herself at a thrift store and declared, "Thrifting IS Congressional." For those wondering why it matters so much that an incoming Representative talk about these issues, think about why we have never had this conversation before. Could it possibly be because our Congresspeople are not as representative as they should be, depicting the challenges that real people, not just the wealthy and elite, face?
As it turns out, Bush was not alone in her pursuit of affordable business attire. Members of 'The Squad' soon shared the tips and tricks they have picked up over the years since first entering office. Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib responded, "Cori, I still wear some of my maternity clothes under those blazers. P.S. I get the most compliments [on] the clothes I got from thrift shops." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez added, "Thrifting, renting, and patience as you get your closet together, sis. [A] capsule wardrobe will be your best friend. Ayanna Pressley has the accessory game down. [The] good news is that all these practices are very sustainable and good for the planet!" She also encouraged Bush to thrift and buy second-hand outfits, which has so far helped her get higher quality, longer-lasting things that would normally be out of budget. Pressley, too, shared her own advice for affordable makeup: "For all those media hits, don't sleep on the lashes or HD makeup products at CVS. Black Opal, NYX, Wet N Wild are the truth!"
Ilhan Omar joined in on the conversation as well. "Thrifting is the way to go, it also makes your look unique. [My daughter] and I do this often, it’s also where I get most of my jewelry. Somali shops in my district have the best scarves on a budget, will get you some to spice up any wardrobe. I specialize in '$50 or less' outfits." Meanwhile, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes affirmed, "I’m a Congresswoman. If I wear it, it’s Congressional." Not only is it immensely wonderful to see women supporting each other in real-time, Bush served everyone an important reminder: "Most members of Congress aren’t working class. So when a regular person like me runs, it’s hard to handle everything from how much it costs to run, down to the clothes I’ll need to wear at work. But we make it work."
Most members of Congress aren’t working class. So when a regular person like me runs, it’s hard to handle everything from how much it costs to run, down to the clothes I’ll need to wear at work.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 12, 2020
But we make it work.
Here's a sneak peak of a few of my thrift fits:
Jacket 1 ✅ https://t.co/F3fpW1NC3f pic.twitter.com/etdLfuNx5w