Incoming Rep. Cori Bush said she's buying her Capitol Hill wardrobe secondhand. 'The Squad' offered affordable fashion tips

Published 16th November 2020
Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush is buying her Capitol Hill wardrobe from thrift stores while she waits for her first paycheck. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and more offered her advice for affordable style.
Credit: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Incoming Rep. Cori Bush said she's buying her Capitol Hill wardrobe secondhand. 'The Squad' offered affordable fashion tips
Written by Scottie Andrew, CNN
Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush won't get her first paycheck until January. To make it through her first few weeks on Capitol Hill, she's buying business attire secondhand.
"The reality of being a regular person going to Congress is that it's really expensive to get the business clothes I need for the Hill," the Missouri Democrat tweeted.
But she's far from the only congresswoman who's shopped at a thrift store for her professional wardrobe. All four members of "The Squad," progressive women of color who serve in the House of Representatives, are sharing the tips they've used to silence critics on Capitol Hill and dress on a budget.
Most members of Congress earn $174,000 a year, but Bush said women on Capitol Hill are unduly scrutinized for their wardrobe and appearance and spend more on their clothing than their male coworkers as a result.
Overcoming that hurdle takes "thrifting, renting, and patience," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Bush in a tweet. The congresswoman also recommended capsule wardrobes, or essential pieces that last several seasons, and touted fellow progressive Rep. Ayanna Pressley's accessorizing acumen.
"Good news is that all these practices are very sustainable and good for the planet!" she tweeted with a wink.
Pressley responded with her drugstore makeup recommendations, like Black Opal, NYX and Wet n Wild, for media appearances. She showed the products in action with a selfie.
Rep. Ilhan Omar cosigned the value of thrifting and said "it also makes your looks unique." She offered to buy Bush some scarves from the Somali shops in her Minnesota district, which "spice up any wardrobe" on a budget, she said.
"I specialize in $50 or less outfits," Omar said.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib's secret, she said, is wearing some of her maternity clothes underneath her jackets.
"P.S. I get the most compliments from the clothes I got from thrift shops," she said.
Bush later shared videos of some of her best thrift store finds. The congresswoman-elect from Missouri, who worked as a nurse in St. Louis and rose to prominence as a Black Lives Matter activist in Ferguson before her election to the House, said she's open about buying secondhand "to make Congress more accessible to regular people."
CNN has reached out to Bush's campaign for comment and is waiting to hear back.