The Power of Fashion in Politics: From Suffragettes to Political Statements

Fashion has been an integral part of politics since the dawn of civilization. Throughout the ages, people have used their appearances to make political statements. From ancient Egyptians to modern times, clothing and accessories have been used to show support and allegiance in politics. By what we wear, we convey our beliefs and stand with conviction on important social and political issues. In this article, we will discuss how fashion has been used in politics, starting with the suffragettes movement and progressing to the modern day use of fashion as a form of political expression.

History of Fashion in Politics

The power of fashion and its importance in politics has been recognized since the dawn of civilization, when kings and queens used elaborate clothing and accessories to signify their power and authority. Moving to more recent history, the use of fashion had been especially powerful in the suffragettes’ movements. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the women’s suffrage movement used dress to demonstrate their cause. Women would often wear sashes adorned with bold slogans and colors as a symbol of their allegiance to their cause. These women used their clothing to make a powerful statement that it was time for women to be given the same rights as men.

The Power of Fashion During the Civil Rights Movement

The power of fashion was also realized during the civil rights movement. In particular, the wearing of dashikis became a symbol of the Black Power movement. Dashikis were brightly-colored tunics with intricate designs, often featuring African animals. This was used by activists as a show of pride in their culture and heritage. Additionally, Martin Luther King’s iconic black and white necktie was also a powerful statement. During the civil rights movement, his iconic necktie demonstrated his non-violent opposition in the fight for equality.

The Role of Fashion in Contemporary Political Movements

Political fashion has also become a powerful tool in modern day politics. Many of today’s leading figures have used clothing to demonstrate their political beliefs. For example, the pink ‘pussy’ hats made famous during the Women’s March events of 2017 and 2018 were used to demonstrate solidarity and feminism. Furthermore, the LGBTQIA+ movement has used various pieces of clothing as a way of showing Pride. For example, the color purple, in particular, has become a symbol of LGBTQIA+ Pride and demonstrative of their support for equal rights.

The Impact of Social Media on Political Fashion

The rise of social media has also revolutionized the role fashion plays in politics. Social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, have become an important platform for expressing political beliefs and spreading awareness on important issues. In particular, celebrities have used the platform to raise their voices on the issues they feel most passionate about. By using clothing and other fashion pieces to share their messages, they are becoming a powerful force in creating change. For example, the Hollywood actors and directors who wore black to the 2018 Golden Globes were making a powerful statement in support of the Time’s Up movement on sexual harassment and abuse.

The power of fashion in politics has been recognized for centuries. From the suffragettes and Civil Rights Movement of the past to the many causes supported today, clothing and accessories remain powerful tools for conveying political messages. As we continue to fight for change and equality, it is inspiring to see how fashion has become an important form of political expression in the modern era.