Clinton's Choice to Wear White at Debate Conveys Struggle of Suffragists, Says Expert

PHOTO: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton steps on stage to debate Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas,Oct. 19, 2016.PlayJohn Locher/AP Photo
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Without saying any words, Hillary Clinton sent a message to voters the moment she walked onto the stage at Wednesday night's presidential debate in Las Vegas.

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Rather, the Democratic presidential candidate's white Ralph Lauren pantsuit sent the message.

Clinton has worn Ralph Lauren's designs often since kicking off her campaign. For example, she wore a cobalt blue Ralph Lauren suit for the campaign's opening rally last year in New York City.

But it's her choice of color — not designer — that's significant.

"The choice of a white suit for Wednesday's debate harkened back to the not-so-distant past, when suffragists wore white to promote their struggle to gain the right to vote," Booth Moore, a senior fashion editor for The Hollywood Reporter and Pret-a-Reporter, told ABC News moments after Clinton took to the debate stage at the University of Nevada.

Moore added, "It also serves as a reminder to voters, during a time when Trump has been under fire for lewd comments and accused by 10 women of inappropriate sexual behavior, that she is the women's candidate."

Keep in mind that Clinton wore a similar white suit in July at the Democratic National Convention, when she accepted the party's presidential nomination.

There's even a connection between Clinton's wearing white and being a candidate.

Israel Waismel-Manor, a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa's school of political science, told ABC News, "'Candidate' comes from the Latin word 'candidatus,' which means 'white robed.' It signifies you are clean, have nothing to hide, pure. Trump is the opposite."

Trump's ensemble — a dark suit, white shirt and red tie — also sent a message, Moore said.

"The red tie is about the most traditional inside-the-Beltway GOP male power uniform you can get," she said. "Seems to be trying to show he belongs."

On a lighter note, many in the Twittersphere argued that Clinton channeled "Scandal" character Olivia Pope, played by actress Kerry Washington.

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