Michelle Obama had one clear message in her keynote at the Democratic National Convention this week: Voting matters, in this election more than ever before. She said that with her speech, but she emphasized it with a gold necklace emblazoned with the word “Vote.”
If you want to follow Obama’s lead and use fashion to encourage people to vote, there are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from $10 Gap shirts to the $295 chain the former First Lady wore. As Obama reminded viewers, voting in the midst of a pandemic is likely to be more laborious than usual, so it’s critical that people make a plan in advance—whether that means anticipating long lines at polling booths or requesting an absentee ballot in plenty of time.
Clothes and accessories are a way to reinforce the importance of voting, both to keep the issue top of mind and to act as a conversation starter with friends and family. If you’re looking for something to add to your wardrobe, there’s plenty to choose from. Here are some of our favorite pieces.
The footwear brand Birdies dropped a capsule collection of leather flats that feature original artwork from designer Danielle Stern. Each pair incorporates symbols from the history of women’s suffrage, including the yellow rose that women wore to show their support of the movement and handwritten words reminiscent of simple suffragist posters. In conjunction with this launch, Birdies is donating $10,000 to Step Up, which helps girls in under-resourced communities. The collection sold out quickly, but the company is currently restocking and has created a waiting list.
Clare V. tote
The luxury handbag designer has a limited edition canvas tote bag featuring all the French conjugations for verb “to vote” (“I vote,” “you vote,” they vote,” etc.). The bag was created in partnership with When We All Vote, a nonpartisan group cochaired by well-known names like Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and 10% of proceeds will go to the organization.
If you’re interested in a work-appropriate shirt that encourages others to vote, consider this white button-down from women’s brand Grayson, which has the words “I am a voter” printed under the top button. A portion of proceeds go to nonpartisan organization “I am a voter,” which aims to mobilize and register voters.
Tory Burch t-shirt
The designer created a simple t-shirt meant to remind people to actively participate in democracy. All proceeds go to Eighteen x 18, an organization founded by actress Yara Shahidi to encourage young Americans to vote.
The denim brand has partnered with a range of activists and scholars, including actress Hailey Bieber and civil rights leader Dr. Melina Abdullah, on a PSA campaign to help Americans vote. The company has also launched a collection of t-shirts, hoodies and tote bags that reinforce this message.
There are plenty of more alternatives as well. Adina Jewels has a similar necklace for $185. If you’re interested in a different aesthetic, Mazi and Zo makes delicate “VOTE” necklaces from recycled gold and sterling silver that cost between $72 and $216. Jennifer Fisher has a vote necklace in a striking font that costs $425 and comes in a variety of precious metals.
Madewell has created a set of American-made unisex t-shirts emblazoned with the word Vote. My favorite features colorful figures physically carrying the letters. The company is donating 100% of proceeds from these shirts to the ACLU and has committed to donating a minimum of $750,000.