Running for public office can be expensive.
Not only do you have to worry about funding a campaign, and paying for staff, but you also have to worry about your appearance. In fact, research shows that for women candidates, wardrobe, makeup and overall style play a huge role in how they’re perceived by voters.
Cori Bush, Missouri’s first Black congresswoman, recently took to Twitter to discuss how costly it is to shop for a new wardrobe as a newly-elected official.
“The reality of being a regular person going to Congress is that it’s really expensive to get the business clothes I need for the Hill,” she said. “So I’m going thrift shopping tomorrow.” Bush, who is a nurse and activist, will make an annual salary of $174,000 as a congresswoman, according to the Congressional Research Services. But, that salary won’t go into effect until she officially takes office in January 2021.
After asking her more than 300,000 Twitter followers if she should do a fashion show showing off the thrift store items she purchased, Bush received retweets and responses from supporters and other congresswomen who shared tips on how they built up their professional wardrobes while still staying on a budget.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that in addition to thrift shopping, she also does “second hand online” shopping to help her buy clothes that would normally be out of her budget.
Thrifting, renting, and patience as you get your closet together sis. Capsule wardrobe will be your best friend. @AyannaPressley has the accessory game down
Good news is that all these practices are very sustainable and good for the planet! 😉 https://t.co/X4Cyy8HOwF
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 11, 2020
Rep. Rashida Tlaib also shared a secret, saying that in addition to thrift shopping, she still wears some of her maternity clothes under her blazer.
The reality of being a regular person going to Congress is that it’s really expensive to get the business clothes I need for the Hill. So I’m going thrift shopping tomorrow.
Should I do a fashion show? ⬇️
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) November 11, 2020
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