Delegates blend fashion, politics
Philadelphia – – Some delegates at this week’s Democratic National Convention are making more than policy declarations. They’re making bold fashion statements.
Call it political or patriotic couture, some delegates have gone all out with their clothing for the four-day convention. Some have coordinated outfits for each day of the week; others have handmade hats that ooze the red, white and blue.
“I only get to do this delegate thing once,” said Michael Arulfo, a delegate from Bloomington, Minnesota, who ordered special sports jackets with flag motifs online specifically for the convention. “I’m going to go all out.”
Arulfo spent about $200 a day on each of his convention outfits, which were carefully coordinated to go along with each day’s speakers. On Monday, he wore a classic blue suit for Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. On Wednesday, he wore a patriotic red and white striped suit coat, a flag tie and jeans because President Barack Obama was speaking and “he’s cool.”
He said he planned to wear a patriotic cape for Hillary Clinton’s Thursday acceptance speech.
“I want to have fun with it,” said Arulfo, who brought extra luggage to Philadelphia to carry his convention-themed clothes.
The reaction to his clothing has been really fun, he said. He has been stopped repeatedly by other delegates and media to get photos of his outfits, Arulfo said.
“It’s helped lighten the mood,” he said.
Kelly Jacobs, a Mississippi delegate, makes patriotic dresses. But these aren’t red, white or blue or flag-inspired. She had fabric custom made on Spoonflower.com with official photographs from the White House.
She wore an Obama dress she sewed herself on Wednesday, complete with a rhinestone “President Hillary” necklace, blue gloves and a hat. On Thursday, she planned to wear a Hillary dress.
“I have seven Obama dresses and six Hillary ones,” said Jacobs, who sat right behind the Michigan delegation.
“I made a promise in 2008 that I’d support her (Clinton), and I don’t break my promises,” Jacobs said.
But will either get use out of their political clothes again? Arulfo says absolutely. He plans to wear his patriotic sports coats to a Minnesota delegation gathering with the state’s governor and maybe next year to the state Democratic convention.