Style & Beauty

Nancy Pelosi's Red Coat Was The Subtlest Power Move

"This is diplomacy in motion, soft power wielded like a machete through the diligent, decisive act of dressing," tweeted one famous admirer.
12/12/2018 03:54pm ET | Updated December 14, 2018

People on Twitter can’t stop talking about Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her heated meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

The House minority leader, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), met with Trump on camera to discuss border security and funding Trump’s long-promised border wall. In the meeting, much of which was captured on video, Pelosi challenged Trump and stood her ground when he suggested she “was in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now.”

Trump’s comment, seemingly a reference to Pelosi’s tough battle for the House speakership, drew a swift rebuke from the Democrat.

“Please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory,” she countered, per The New York Times.

Pelosi was looking to project leadership and power, of course ― both to fellow Democrats, whose support she will need come January, and to Trump as he faces a new Democratic majority in the House. Appearing triumphant as she spoke with reporters after the meeting, she found yet another way to assert that power.

Pelosi wore a bold, red-orange coat outside the White House, catching the attention of “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and many others online who noted the subtle way her sartorial choice communicated strength.

In a widely shared Twitter thread, the Oscar winner explained just how deliberate a choice it was, while also asking his followers whether anyone had figured out the brand.

“That color is LEGIT and we need to know this,” Jenkins wrote, before launching into a discussion of Pelosi’s “decisive act of dressing.”

“What I love about this coat is what it says about the supposed impotence of fashion,” he continued. “From the asymmetrical front to the high collar, the strong yet unstrained shoulder and, of course, that COLOR ― a deeply serene yet emphatic & ravishing color. This look kicks soooo much ass.”

As another person pointed out on Twitter, the choice of coat could also be interpreted as subtle shade toward the Trump administration, as she wore the same coat to attend Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

Red has long been associated with both passion and blood, according to color experts. But as Leslie Harrington, executive director of the Color Association of the United States, told HuffPost earlier this year, it also has “that domineering, confident, don’t-mess-with-me kind of strength to it.” It seems fitting, then, that Pelosi wore such a bold color when leaving yesterday’s meeting.

Along with Jenkins, plenty of other Twitter users were equally fond of the coat and what it appeared to stand for.

People speculated about where it was from and who designed it. One person noted it bears a striking resemblance to the Armani Cappotto coat, which appears to be sold-out online. Another said it looked like a coat she owned by Gerard Darel, and others shared links to an almost-identical (but seemingly sold-out) Carolina Herrera coat. As The New York Times pointed out, however, the coat is an old design by MaxMara. The Italian label announced Wednesday afternoon that it would re-release the coat in a variety of colors in 2019.

Below, see some more of the best appreciation tweets:

And if you’re one of the many people out there trying to snag a Pelosi coat for yourself, here are a few options:

This post has been updated to include additional information about the coat.

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