The new U.S. Congress looks more like America than any before it, with a historic number of women and increased representation for Muslim-Americans, Native Americans, and other marginalized groups. Make no mistake, it's still largely dominated by older, white men — just check this calculator to see how much of Congress actually looks like you — but Thursday's swearing-in ceremonies showed just how far we've come.
It's not about checking some "identity" box, as some conservative commentators would have us believe. It's about continuing the work of dismantling white supremacy in this country and giving a voice to those who have been historically overlooked by elected officials.
A new Congress deserves a new dress code, too. And while suits and pearls are still very much the standard, an increasing number of women — especially the new class in the U.S. House of Representatives — chose clothing that represented their culture or had a symbolic meaning. It's a day on which they wanted to represent to the United States exactly who they are — they knew they would be photographed, after all.