I didn’t catch on to its fierceness immediately.
I was too busy trying to understand the brouhaha that preceded the reappearance of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s to die for red/orange coat — the confrontation between Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer and President Trump. The threatened government shut down took precedence over my #overcoatgoals.
Yet thanks to the internet, I too, am now obsessed with Pelosi’s coat. That fiery, funnel neck Max Mara is beyond beautiful. It’s powerful and chock full of understated sleekness, but it also representative of a full-throttle comeback. This just-above-the-knee woolly cocoon is a how-do-you-like-me-now-nod if there ever was one. And like Pelosi, not only is the coat classic, sharp and staid, it won’t be forgotten, even if it lived in the back of the closet for a while.
Pelosi’s Glamis coat is a design that is at least five years old. Fashionistas first took note of Pelosi in the same coat back in 2013 when she wore it to Barack Obama’s second inauguration, but it largely went went unnoticed. (Don’t worry coat-aholicis, as of Wednesday afternoon, Max Mara is planning to rerelease it sometime in 2019.) Back then social media gauged where we stood on race, politics and, of course, fashion, but there weren’t memes around every corner and obsessive tweets firing off every second. And, probably most importantly, Democrats weren’t in the midst of scrambling to take their power back in Washington.
A few hours after Pelosi stood her ground in the contentious meeting with the president over Trump’s proposed border wall came the Twitter handles @amcoat and @nancycoat. There is also an Instagram @excellentcoatsonirritatedwomen courtesy of Flemington, New Jersey-based comedian Sarah Benincasa, that celebrates how extra a woman giving a side-eye can be when she’s cloaked in the right outerwear. Celebrities including If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins also tweeted about how kiss-my-hiney powerful Pelosi appeared in the rusty red coat.
There is something about a professional women’s coat of arms that intrigues us. The armor she wears when she’s about to do battle for her job, her family, her life makes us take notice. We pay attention because not only because her take no prisoners fashion choices are a peek into her psyche it can serve as inspiration: What should I wear when I need to lean in?
But more than that, in this chill-blocker Pelosi gave women a needed visual that said, “Try as you might you will not dismiss me.” In other words, what made the coat so memorable was the attitude. It’s the same reason that “Texts from Hillary," featuring Hillary Clinton looking at her BlackBerry wearing shades inside, or Rep. Maxine Waters peering over her glasses and reclaiming her time have become memes as well. These women are dressed in classic clothes that you expect women to be demure in, but instead of being polite, they’re rolling their eyes at foolishness.