Hillary’s inaugural Instagram post: a close read

Not pantsuits.
Not pantsuits.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Hillary Clinton joined the ranks on Instagram today, with a photograph that has already garnered 26,600 followers, 5,311 likes, and 1,447 comments (and counting).

We see nine garments on identical plastic hangers, in a naturally lit room with walls that could range anywhere from avocado to French vanilla (the lighting is weird). There also are two paintings, a quilt, and a caption: “Hard choices.” That was the title of Clinton’s memoirs, published in 2014; it also is what one is often faced with when meeting garments of identical colors and similar shapes.

Let’s take a closer look at the former first lady/senator/US secretary of state, and current Democratic frontrunner in the US presidential campaign’s first post.

We can start with the clothes.

They’re not pantsuits

Much of the mainstream media assumed the garments pictured are pantsuits. It’s understandable, as the presidential hopeful has made a point of reclaiming the pantsuit joke, but I’m not so sure. For starters, where are the pants? I see nine garments hanging, all of which appear to have sleeves. The hangers appear to be of the standard crystal plastic variety, which have no place for attaching a pair of corresponding pants. Whether Clinton would be the sort to hang her pants and jackets together on a single hanger is another matter, but she doesn’t appear to have done so in this case.

They appear to be dresses, shirts, and jackets

These are also garments Clinton has been photographed wearing.

Their colors are extremely consistent

Clinton wears lots of colors, but the palette of berry red, white, and cobalt blue featured here is particularly patriotic—and one that suits the former secretary of state nicely. (She wore cobalt to honor designer Ralph Lauren last year, but let’s stick to the picture.)

Why are they on a rolling rack?

Why are these garments being separated? Is it only for the purpose of a photograph? Is Clinton packing for a campaign trip? Is her closet too messy—or too big—to share with the public? Is the rolling rack always blocking the verdant view outside that window?

Other questions worth considering:

Can we have a better look at that quilt?

Although countries such as Pakistan and France have quilting traditions, this appears to be an American-style block quilt—and a lovely one at that. It seems to be on a quilt stand, which to me says one of a couple things: “We own more quilts than guest beds,” or, “We are too fancy to toss this over the back of the couch.” It’s a nice touch, just hiding in the corner, and one can imagine an aide saying, “No, leave it,” when it was about to be moved from the frame.

Also, the paintings

One is on the wall, and there appears to be another one—or is it two?—on the floor behind the rolling rack. Perhaps only one gets that prized wall space next to the rolling rack/window and the Clintons can’t decide which.

Finally, her bio

It simply reads, “Doting grandmother, among other things. #Hillary2016.” Perhaps she is hinting to us that pics of baby Charlotte will be next. Fingers crossed for some good #TBTs.