Ivanka Trump channels Hillary Clinton in white pantsuit during NASA visit with Ted Cruz

Is Ivanka Trump taking style cues from Hillary Clinton and the suffragettes?

While the first daughter and senior White House adviser is no stranger to a power suit, the white linen number she wore for Thursday’s visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston is notable because of its symbolic connection to feminist causes — and her father’s presidential opponent.

Ivanka Trump toured NASA’s Johnson Space Center with Sen. Ted Cruz. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

According to the White House Fashion Twitter user, Trump wore Frame’s $450 linen-blend blazer and $330 boot-cut trousers as she toured the NASA facilities with Sen. Ted Cruz to learn more about the future of space exploration and support STEM education.


While it’s highly possible that Trump wore white because of its futuristic, sci-fi effect, it’s hard to ignore the scrutiny given to the white pantsuit in recent years.

White has long been associated with the suffragette movement, with supporters wearing it with purple and gold as they fought for women’s right to vote. As the Baltimore Sun has noted, it was the color’s association with the suffragettes and female rebellion that inspired Hillary Clinton to wear white pantsuits during “crucial” campaign moments, including her final debate with Donald Trump. The white pantsuit she wore to Trump’s 2017 inauguration was seen as a symbol of defiance.

Hillary Clinton wore white to Trump’s inauguration in 2017. (Photo: Saul Loeb/pool/AFP)

Other female Democratic politicians have followed Clinton’s lead. In February 2017, women representing the House Democratic Women’s Working Group attended President Trump’s address to Congress in white outfits as a show of solidarity. The sartorial move was mocked by Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who considered it a “rude” slight to Trump.

Congresswomen wore white in solidarity for President Trump’s address to Congress in February 2017. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

“Did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well?” he said during a radio town hall, CNN reported. “It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.”

Female leaders were quick to fire back.

“When we are sitting right in front of [Trump] with a sea of white attire, [showing] that we are not going to allow him to roll back women’s progress in this country, it’s actually patriotic and shows that we care about the issues that are important to women and won’t let them roll back our progress,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., responded in a CNN interview.

The white pantsuit has crossed party lines, however. First lady Melania Trump’s Christian Dior look at the State of the Union address on Jan. 30 raised eyebrows, with some speculating that it might be a response to Stormy Daniels’s allegations, which had just been made public. Others, however, have slammed suggestions that FLOTUS was trying to align herself with feminist causes.

The first lady wore a white pantsuit of her own at this year’s State of the Union address. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

So is there a deeper meaning to what Ivanka Trump — whose wardrobe has been compared with Clinton’s in the past — wore, or is a pantsuit sometimes just a pantsuit?

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