Hillary Clinton launched a shop selling promotional items for her 2016 presidential bid this morning. The standout item among the “I ♥ Hillary” plastic tumblers and “I’m with Hillary” bumper stickers, is a red, short-sleeved t-shirt printed with the lapels, pockets, and buttoned-front of one of Clinton’s famous pantsuits. (The wearer must provide her own pants.)
There’s an “H” pin on the lapel and printed on the back of the neck—in case you didn’t get the reference to the presidential hopeful’s power uniform—is the message, “Pantsuit Up.”
The shirt itself is pretty unattractive, but that doesn’t keep it from being effective. It not only shows a bit of self-referential humor—Clinton has already reclaimed the pantsuit joke—it also acknowledges that the candidate’s physical appearance plays a part in her candidacy, a fact that causes much hand-wringing for feminists who acknowledge the power of fashion.
Perhaps at the smarter end of Clinton’s campaign regalia is what appears to be a needle-pointed throw pillow bearing the message: “A woman’s place is in the White House.” It’s a more direct feminist message, delivered in a traditionally conservative medium—which is why it just might work on Midwestern couches.