When Judge Amy Coney Barrett showed up on Oct. 12 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, day one of her four-day hearing, there was much to be said about her previous work and ideological stances. But what didn’t escape the public gaze were Coney Barrett’s fashion choices, like her pleated fuchsia dress and string of pearls.
In an era of pussy hats, power pantsuits, and suffragette white, women’s fashion has reached new cultural heights during Donald Trump’s first term. It’s no surprise, then, that the Indiana judge, who was nominated to the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, also finds herself at the center of intense sartorial discourse. As soon as the hearing began, her style choices received praise for their conservative appearance, criticism for being unjudicial, and accusations of weaponizing white Christian motherhood. Was her fashion that controversial for a government official?