How many women have you spotted wearing "The Pelosi" this week?

By Julia Beck
Updated: Feb 11, 2019 @ 2:52 pm
SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

In January, Nancy Pelosi re-took her seat as Speaker of the House. Throughout the long, tense month, she masterfully moved political Chess pieces — the timing of the State of the Union, the debate over Donald Trump’s proposed wall and the government shutdown he imposed because of it — and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Pelosi kept it together with skill, style, and grace under fire, plus one signature piece: the Pelosi power scarf.

She may have left the scarf at home for Tuesday’s SOTU in favor of a chunky necklace and an instantly memed clapback, but elsewhere women had already begun emulating the Speaker’s look by tying on one of their own.  

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Interestingly, this is not the first time we’ve seen Pelosi put the political smackdown while wearing Hermes. During the government shutdown in 2013, Twitter was outraged at the assumed cost of her accessory (tweets priced it anywhere from $400 to $12,000; it’s actual price via Hermes is $395). Now six years later, she’s back at it again in the silk scarf. She’s worn one on the Hill and in the White House, and courtside, too. When her hometown Golden State Warriors played the Washington Wizards on January 24, she was there (in silken team colors of course) spending time speaking with furloughed government employees.

And Pelosi's been building up her style icon status of late, with everything from her sunglasses to the red MaxMara coat she wore stepping out of the White House on December 12 (the brand has reissued it to please the many Pelosi fashion stans).

It's no wonder that women who had Hermes and other scarves from decades gone by have gone hunting in the depths of their closets. I found myself reintroduced to my own silk scarves in orange boxes. When asked about my look, I simply said, “it’s my Pelosi.”  

As a D.C.-area consultant, I keep on running into women who report looking for their mom or grandmother’s scarf stashes. Ruth Moors D’Eredita, a writer and lawyer in Virginia, shared via her Facebook account, “I hadn't worn my Eperon d'or in years, then I saw Nancy in her yellow one and put mine on yesterday!” Tech executive Andrew Lindsay shared with me that his mother, Kate, a CEO and the former Associate Head and CFO of Sidwell Friends School, had taken to wearing hers just weeks prior.

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A younger generation of women are investing in the look, too. Brand strategist Hope Brookins, 28 of Little Rock, AK, had recently ordered several from Tuckernuck. “They are more in my price range. And I need them! When it comes to fashion, I’m all about wearing what makes me feel most powerful. Lately every piece Nancy Pelosi shows up in says ‘I’m the one in charge here.’ Silk scarves are an inexpensive way to incorporate her power look into my wardrobe.”

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A bit north of the Hill in Georgetown, a twenty-something  woman I see regularly at The Wing was typing away, accessorized with the Pelosi. Hers was paired with denim and a great looking blazer — the rolled silk was worn long and unknotted. It was hard to miss how easily she had built the Pelosi into her look; the poise and power it pulled together.

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A week later I found myself with a female contemporary at a male-dominated meeting. She and I were both wrapped in our own versions of “The Pelosi.” Speaker Pelosi had influenced our choice, no question. As two women among only a handful at an industry event, we had both suited up with our confidence, expertise and self-esteem in plain view. Madame Speaker, we have you to thank for making that as simple as a silk scarf.