This Is Why Hillary Clinton Wore Purple to Give Her Concession Speech

November 9, 2016, 6:10 PM UTC

In her concession speech Wednesday, Hillary Clinton made a point to speak directly to her female supporters. She told the young women who backed her that “nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” While that “highest, hardest glass ceiling” still stands, said Clinton, it will eventually be shattered. “Someday, someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”

And her message to the women in the audience didn’t end with her words. Clinton addressed the crowd while wearing a black pantsuit with purple lapel and purple shirt. Her husband, President Bill Clinton, stood at her shoulder wearing a tie in matching shade. Anne Holton, wife of vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, also took the stage in purple.

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When so many politicians stick to the colors of the American flag, why all the purple? The answer, it seems, is connected to the rash of all-white outfits some observers noted at the polls on Tuesday.

As Fortune previously reported, many women—and particularly Clinton supporters—wore white to vote. The color has long been a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement, and was worn by early pioneers like Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress, and Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate.

But white is not the only color associated with the movement. Suffrage activists in Britain and the U.S. have also counted purple, which has traditionally been used to represent dignity, among their official colors.

Clinton did not shy away from the use of sartorial symbolism during the campaign—indeed, she accepted the Democratic nomination while wearing an all-white suit. It seems that her choice of a concession outfit allowed her one last opportunity to send a message of solidarity and hope to the women watching her say her parting words.


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