There are a lot of things that can make a woman feel powerful—her friends, her favorite book, her co-workers, her signature lipstick. None of these are mutually exclusive. But there's a universal truth that speaks to the power of clothing. Just ask these three women, who've made their mark on the world by spearheading the conversation on sexual assault, championing women's rights, and fighting for equality. Women who have worked to better the lives of others in the clothing that made them feel most confident. In fact, one of them did so for eight hours straight wearing four-inch heels. Now that's badass.
"I feel strong and ready to conquer the world in all black and a pair of boots. It's completely utilitarian—it doesn't require a lot of mixing and matching and can be pulled together quickly. When I dress up, I tend to go big with the colors and accessories, but in my day-to-day life, I have so much work to do that I just need to be able to get right to it and not have to think about what message my clothes might be giving off. The black makes me feel strong and the heels give me a little boost of confidence...then I'm off!"
"Whenever I have a day that I need to take on a big challenge, I wear a gold pin of my mother's—former Texas Governor Ann Richards—that happens to look a whole lot like a sheriff's badge. It’s a beautiful piece designed by her favorite jeweler, Brian Mikeska, in Austin. It makes me feel like I can take anything on. And if I need more juice? I add her brilliant blue Hermès scarf. Wearing those two, along with one of my blue suits (like the one I wore to testify before Congress), I feel unstoppable."
"This month, I was honored to donate my suit and gavel from the day I shattered the marble ceiling by becoming the first woman Speaker of the House to the Smithsonian Institution. That day, I said to our daughters and granddaughters, ‘We made history. Now, let’s make progress.’ We need more women to know their power and show their confidence—whatever way that is for them—because nothing is more wholesome to our democracy than the increased leadership and participation of women.
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Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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