Activism Attire: I’m Going to a Protest and Have Nothing to Wear



A few days after Trump won the election, I continued to shuffle around in a sad, shocked and scared stupor like pretty much everybody I know In the bubble. Trump’s supporters were the hand, Trump the pin, and POP, our bubble was burst into a million pieces.

Then came word of the “Million Women’s March”, now the “Women’s March on Washington”, planned for the day after the inauguration in Washington DC. Jslow texted me and that was that: we booked one of the last remaining hotel rooms and gathered our miles to join this protest. It was the first bit of control we had, some action to be taken, and it helped a lot.

Full disclosure. While we’re both liberal and tolerant and vote for liberal and tolerant people and issues, we’ve never been on the front lines. Other than joining an anti-Iraq war protest that coursed down California Street in front of my old Nob Hill flat, this really is my first planned protest. Same for Jslow.

As the march marches closer, we have so many questions about what to expect. And trust me, they really paint us to be the protest princesses we are.

Things like:

  • What do we wear? It’s going to be cold, and we’re going to be on our feet for a long time, given the posted march duration of 10am – 5pm. Should Jslow leave her heels at home?
  • What about getting to the March, which starts at Independance and Third. Can we walk from the hotel or take public transit? Will Uber charge ridiculously high surge pricing?
  • Is fur out of the question? I know activism and fox don’t exactly mix. Thinking my faux fur Shrimps coat is an appropriate compromise. Is it?
  • Will this be orderly? Neither of us like crowds, and this will be a huge one. Would Xanax be out of the question?
  • What happens if we have to pee? Will there be Port-a-potties? Can we get to them? Can we hold it?
  • And what about food? Where there be food tents? Perhaps some chicken skewers? Pizza by the slice? A Luna bar?
  • Signs! What’s a protest without one? Probably not smart to pack. Will it be easy to find an art supply store or Staples to buy cardboard, pens, and a yardstick? What should our sign say? How big should it be? And what if it rains? Soggy sign = problem.
  • Then again, would carrying a sign be cumbersome? Would my arm hurt? Would it block other protesters views? What is sign etiquette anyway?
  • Will there be wi-fi? Will my Verizon network hold up under the weight of all of us women texting and taking photos? Will there be a March Bitmoji?
  • What are my chances of running into Cher, Amy Schumer and Samantha Bee, a few of the my favorite celebrities planning to march?

We’re protest rookies and it shows. But apparently, we’re not alone. Based on everything I’ve read, this march is attracting many first-timers like us, as Trump’s hateful, misogynistic, racist rants have struck a nerve in all of us, and rallied us lefties to organize to oppose his agenda. I love the fact that so many are refusing to let this man get away with his shit; that so many will fight until he is no longer in office.

But back to the issue at hand: What does one wear to a protest?

It’s a delicate balance between keeping warm and comfortable, incorporating as much anti-Trump attire/accessories as possible, and doing so in style. I thought I’d take you through my process as I work this all out.

Sweatshirts are a key player against the cold, and a great way to turn your body into a human sign without pens, cardboard or trips to Blick. Here are two of my favorites: “Trump With The Not So Good Hair”, available here from Esty, and “Nope” available here from USCD apparel. Both in neutral colors that go with everything and offend no one, as no “Fucks” of any kind are found on these options.



I love the button. I used to cover my thrift-store Levi’s jean jacket with Ska and New Wave versions in the early 80s. They tell a story of cultural highs and lows, loves and hates; these colorful, graphic and succinct discs communicate far more than their one-inch diameter implies. Visual Twitter, if you will.

Below are my favorites in terms of message and style, sure to pop whether you pin them to denim, plaid or fleece. They can all be found here in the Plushbot shop on Etsy.


The finishing touch is most definitely the coat and hat, which should be as “Pussy” related as possible. Cat ear caps are functional and signal “Pussy” like no other. If money is tight and/or you want something more personal, check out the “Pussyhat Project” here, started by two friends who have rallied a community of knitters (experienced and not) to make pink cat-ear hats for protesters. Their mission:PussyHat Project Mission

As for coats, may we suggest a leopard print or something equally cat-like to help keep you warm in what promises to be a very cold day.

Let’s go sort out our activism attire! See you at the March.



million-women-march-protest-style-pussy-hats-and-coats1. Karl Lagerfeld Choupette Hat, Stylebop. 2. Dolce & Gabbana Cat Pom Pom Beanie, Kirna Zabete. 3. Silver Spoon Attire Cashmere Cat Mask Beanie Hat, Luisaviaroma. 4. Acne Studios Bertilyn Leopard Print Felt Coat, Net-A-Porter. 5. Ganni Sleeveless Leopard Faux Fur Coat, Browns. 6. MSGM Cat-Patch Coat, Farfetch.

PS: We both know how lucky we are to be able to afford the money and time to make this trip. Luckily, there are marches planned across the country to coincide with DC protest. Here are details on finding a “sister” march near you.


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