Regardless of which political party they are standing with (or perhaps sprinting from), millions tuned into tonight’s long-awaited debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Early predictions pegged the at-home TV turnout at Super Bowl-worthy levels smashing the 80.6 million who tuned in for Jimmy Carter’s 1980 on-air showdown against Ronald Reagan.
Every last word and nuance will be dissected by economists, minimum wage earners, union leaders, body language experts, Wall Street-ers and plenty of other Average Joes and Janes in the days ahead. And while immigration, the country’s financial health and the war on terrorism are all serious issues to be discussed, the candidates’ fashion choices also always create a blizzard of armchair critics. Melania Trump showed her former model status, wearing a black ruched off-the-shoulder Dolce & Gabbana dress from the fall runway.
While Fox’s Megyn Kelly caught some flak for wearing a spaghetti strap dress at the Republican National Convention, NBC’s bespectacled moderator Lester Holt went with looked studious in a dark suit with a little extra flair thanks to a pocket square, striped tie and light blue shirt. Despite having a bevy of outspoken designer supporters including Tory Burch, Elie Tahari and Diane von Furstenberg, Clinton’s style, like her delivery, tends to stick to the basics. And her focus — at least when it comes to fashion — was on display at Hostra University Monday night when the former Secretary of State could be seen in her red pantsuit, perhaps trying to cross party lines with that color choice. Trump, meanwhile was of a similar mind-set, wearing a dark blue suit. He also arrived with his white shirt unbuttoned at the neck and without a neck tie. But once on stage, Trump had knotted a bright blue necktie.
As proven by the candidates’ and their immediate families’ wardrobe choices at their respective party’s national conventions, Republican Red and Democratic Blue are no longer the only choices. At the DNC, Clinton made her acceptance speech in a white pantsuit and her daughter, Chelsea, introduced her wearing a red Roland Mouret dress. A few weeks before at the RNC, Trump accepted the nomination in a dark suit and solid red tie. Melania joined him on stage wearing a white Fendi dress, which was very similar to the Roksanda one she wore for her own RNC speech. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who not only works for the Trump Organization but has her own fashion label, introduced the GOP to the see-now-buy-now phenomenon wearing an off-white dress that she designed one night and a blush-colored one the following night. On the closing night at the Quicken Loans Arena, the entrepreneur also sported her own accessories — $135 black suede pumps and her own considerably pricier precious jewelry. Eric Trump’s wife Lara went with another reality star favorite for her dress – a design by Oscar G. Lopez, a “Project Runway Under the Gun” winner.
After ABC reporter Liz Kreutz shot a video of Clinton wearing a green wool coat on a 70-degree Sunday, the candidate’s fashion choice started an online debate about her health, not her fashion sense. Though given the near-constant bipartisan battle, every subject tied to both candidates is a point of differing opinions.