Nancy Pelosi’s coat is a powerful meme with its own twitter handle

Nancy Pelosi’s Coat Catches Fire

It’s the boldest piece of political outerwear since, you know, that other coat. Representative Nancy Pelosi, right, leaving the White House with Senator Chuck Schumer. After a meeting with President Trump about a potential government shutdown, Ms. Pelosi’s outerwear emerged as a symbol of the well-dressed opposition.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, right, leaving the White House with Senator Chuck Schumer. After a meeting with President Trump about a potential government shutdown, Ms. Pelosi’s outerwear emerged as a symbol of the well-dressed opposition.CreditCreditAndrew Harnik/Associated Press
Vanessa Friedman

By Vanessa Friedman

After #PantsuitNation, #CoatCountry? It’s a strong possibility, given the intense reaction to the autumn-leaf orange funnel-necked piece of outerwear Nancy Pelosi tossed on like a victor’s cloak after exiting her contentious meeting with President Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. Who needs armor when you have a wool flamethrower?

Along with her dark glasses, sharp heels and smile of post-combat exhilaration, the coat whispered “burn” with a wink and a swish. It also helped to transform her from a seemingly tired symbol of the establishment to one of well-dressed revolt.

She told the president: “Don’t characterize the strength that I bring.” But to many who saw her afterward, the coat she donned as she walked out the front door represented it.

Social media was alight with excitement. There hasn’t been a coat that garnered this much attention in politics since, well — that one. You know, the Zara one with the writing on the back worn by the first lady last June. Although this one made a somewhat different impression.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

bad·ass
/ˈbadˌas/Submit
INFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
noun
1.
a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person.
“one of them is a real badass, the other’s pretty friendly”#TrumpShutDown

View image on Twitter

Exiting the White House, @NancyPelosi is wearing her Orange You Sorry You Started This Fight Coat.

View image on Twitter

I really want this Nancy Pelosi power coat. #thenewqueen #womeninpower

It didn’t take long for the coat to get its own Twitter handle: @NancyCoat. Then it got another: @AmCoat. Everyone wanted to know where it was from and if they could get one.

There was some speculation the designer was Carolina Herrera, but that turned out not to be true; the brand makes a similar style with a different neck closure. The right answer was MaxMara — a design from a few years ago. The coat is no longer available for purchase, except perhaps from a reseller.

Ms. Pelosi had shopped her closet, and this was not, as it happened, the first time she had worn the coat for a public political event. She purchased it in honor of President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013, and the choice this time around served as both a reminder of her longevity in the seats of power and a hint of exactly where her allegiance lies. (Her dark sunglasses did not provoke quite the same reaction, but for those who care, they were Armani; the shoes were from Stuart Weitzman.)

Of course, it’s possible she just threw the old thing on and rushed out the door, though given the stakes surrounding the Trump meeting both for her own party’s leadership and the new balance of power between executive and legislative branches — plus, the fact that she knew the meeting would be televised and there would be a news conference afterward — it seems unlikely.

Ms. Pelosi has always been more aware of the power clothes convey than most in Washington, and unafraid of the appellation “chic;” attuned to both the visual punch that comes from color (Ms. Pelosi wore a lavender suit to lead her troops to the health care vote in 2010 and bright blue when she won the leadership nomination last month) and the viral line.

See, for example, the way the coat provided a neat point of contrast with those worn most often by the first lady, even beyond the infamous Zara one, which tend toward the tightly belted and epauletted trench style. Ms. Pelosi, it appears, is gearing up for a different kind of warfare. Her new team in Congress could not have missed it. Nor the fact that the coat buttoned left of center.

It could be a new uniform for a new term, with Ms. Pelosi framed as a new kind of fashion trailblazer. Indeed, though MaxMara was not aware of Ms. Pelosi’s choice when it happened, the company was delighted by the association and are looking into reinstating the style.

You develop an emotional relationship with a coat like nothing else in your wardrobe,” said Ian Griffiths, creative director of MaxMara, in an email. “I can imagine why Ms. Pelosi chose to wear it for this important moment, and I’m honored.”

Light it up.

Vanessa Friedman is The Times’s fashion director and chief fashion critic. She was previously the fashion editor of the Financial Times. @VVFriedman

The Power of a Coat on a Powerful Woman, Noted by Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins Really Loves Nancy Pelosi’s Coat

By Kimberly Truong@kimberlanded

Photo: Getty Images, Shutterstock

After a, uh, tense meeting with President Trump and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office yesterday, Nancy Pelosi stepped out in a striking red coat with sunglasses in tow. The photo quickly made the rounds on the internet, becoming an image seared onto the minds and mood boards of many — especially Barry Jenkins.

In immediate aftermath of the hellish meeting, in which Pelosi, Trump, and Schumer had discussed the funding of the border wall, Pelosi was hailed for remaining calm and refusing to back down even as Trump continually interrupted her; to many, the image of her emerging from the White House with a satisfied smile served as a fitting symbol of her composure.

Later that night, Jenkins retweeted a GIF of Pelosi putting her sunglasses on and walking away, writing, “Has anybody figured what coat this is she’s wearing? I waited to ask this question, let the seriousness of the situation be properly discussed but … That color is LEGIT and we need to know this”

The next morning, Pelosi’s coat was still weighing heavily on Jenkins’s mind, and he continued to wax poetic about it.

“What I love about this coat is what it says about the supposed impotence of fashion,” he tweeted. “From the asymmetrical front to the high collar, the strong yet unstrained shoulder and, of course, that COLOR — a deeply serene yet emphatic & ravishing color. This look kicks soooo much ass.”

In comparison, he said, whatever Trump might have been wearing was more like “the greasy wrapper on a Royal Castle Burger; the annoying cellophane on those cheap airline earbuds when you forget yours; a wet napkin.”

Can you tell why Jenkins’s work has been likened to poetry?

Meanwhile, he paid Pelosi the greatest honor by comparing her to Angela Basset in Waiting to Exhale: “Ms. Pelosi is shown in full, rhymed with Ms. Basset in WAITING 2 EXHALE. What she wore was so declarative it could not be erased.”

To conclude his thoughts, this coat is “diplomacy in motion.” And to conclude mine, Barry Jenkins’ Twitter account is the only good Twitter account.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

And she knew exactly what she was doing wearing THIS coat on THIS day coming out of THAT room, placing THOSE shades on JUST so. This is diplomacy in motion, soft power wielded like a machete through the diligent, decisive act of dressing.

They’ve never been JUST clothes