I’m (dressing) with her: Searching for the perfect election-time Hillary pantsuit in BK

This actually happened by accident.
This actually happened by accident. Edited by Sam Corbin

Voting at the polls tomorrow isn’t the only way to show you’re #withHer. You can also dress the part by donning Hillary’s signature outfit, a two-piece pantsuit. And if you do, trust us, you won’t be the only one: A (not so) secret pro-Hillary Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation popped up last week with just a one-line description that reads, “Wear a pantsuit on November 8. You know why.”

The group has 110 admins and is quickly approaching the 2 million member mark, with new members being added every second. They’ve also created a website, built a Twitter following… they even managed to get professional photographers to offer free photo sessions sporting a pantsuit tomorrow.

All this evidence points to one simple truth: You need to get yourself in a pantsuit. But where?

Looking for a cheap thrift pantsuit isn’t like looking for a summer dress. Since pantsuits were only ever the fashion for businesswomen and your mom, selection isn’t nearly as wide at those cute vintage and thrift stores you usually frequent.

You’ve got to go against your most basic fashion senses and seek out those weird business casual thrift stores — which is just what I did. As Brokelyn’s least fashionable human, I’m probably the ideal candidate to have set off along a brief journey through the central BK thrift store scene to find a perfect election night pantsuit.

I mean it’s 100% given that American Apparel is working on a pantsuit line, but since we’re not there yet, off I went.


Even the hair is on point. Selfie by Sam Corbin.
Even the hair is on point. Selfie by Sam Corbin / Brokelyn

First, the obvious choice: Goodwill (258 Livingston St.) in Boerum Hill, the only Goodwill location left standing in the borough since the one in Bed-Stuy closed last year. This is where seekers of the elusive Hillary pantsuit can hope to hit the jackpot. Full suit sets are colorful and start at around $14.99, and there’s enough selection to mix-and-match your way to something that passes for paired. I found a pretty great brown pantsuit that’d make Hillary proud, or maybe just make her wink at me, but it wasn’t *the* suit, so I moved on.

Life Boutique Thrift (515 5th Ave.), a small and neatly curated vintage and thrift consignment shop in Park Slope, offered a similarly colorful experience – literally. Their clothing is classified by color, not by garment type, so it took much more time to suss out the pantsuits among all the dresses and blazers. There was a whole bunch of business wear there, mostly separate pieces you could mix and match. I found a suit from Yves Saint Laurent, but who wants to spend $199 on a political statement? Even if I had it, I’d rather donate that money to Hillary’s campaign.


It doesn't scream 'Hillary,' you know?
It just doesn’t scream ‘Hillary,’ you know? Phot by Sam Corbin

Next up, I tried Out of the Closet Thrift Store (475 Atlantic Ave.), a thrift store and community testing center for HIV where, despite the slim pickings on just about everything, a women’s suit section was surprisingly extant. I managed to find one checkered Nine West pantsuit for $14, but it wasn’t #Her enough. Hillary never patterns her pantsuits.

Where I definitely didn’t find anything: Beacon’s Closet. I passed by their 5th avenue store and poked my head in. But as I feared, their aesthetic is so far from pantsuits it’s practically… well, whatever the opposite of a pantsuit is. A shapeless frock with a spike-studded neckline, maybe.

If you’re looking for an election night pantsuit then sure, Goodwill, Out of the Closet and Life Boutique are all viable options. You could also try your luck at some of the bigger discount department stores in Manhattan, if you work around there. My search didn’t yield a quintessential Hillary pantsuit, as close as some of the options got.

Was I too late, I wonder? Did you buy up all the pantsuits before I got there, Brooklyn? Or could there be a different kind of trickery at work?

When I dropped into Century 21, the discount fashion mecca I figured was guaranteed to have plenty of suit sets, I found scant offerings. Then, I saw this:



Just saying.

Follow Sam follow suits at: @ahoysamantha

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