Hillary Clinton's First Met Ball Gown Was Wilder Than You'd Expect — PHOTOS

Having begun my career in Washington, DC, I've seen Capitol Hill fashion up close, but there's always been something distinct and deliberate about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's style. Historically known for airing on the side of professionalism with her wardrobe, Clinton is often seen wearing pant suits and understated accessories. And that is precisely why my surprise set in when I looked back at a photo of Clinton's first Met Ball gown from back in 2001 — her choice was actually much wilder than I expected!

In recent years, we've seen some small changes to Clinton's wardrobe, which mainly involve more colorful choices, but it seems that she still remains most comfortable in a suit. But these developments actually mean more than you think. To put Clinton's view of fashion in perspective, she turned down an opportunity to pose for Vogue in 2008, fearing that showing her "feminine side" would cost her the Iowa primary.

Surprisingly, this view reflects an ongoing debate in the district, one that female politicians can't seem to win. If they wear pants suits to appear in control, they're criticized for being masculine or frumpy, but if they choose a more fashion forward approach, they're often facing criticisms related to their bodies or accusations of being unprofessional and showing too much skin. But while the ongoing battle may affect her day-to-day attire, it doesn't seem to reflect her choices in gowns. Over the years she has been spotted in everything from sequins to florals... some of which were drop-dead gorgeous.

Now don't get me wrong — Clinton's dress was not by any means the risquée kind of "wild", but rather "wild" in the traditional sense of the word. See for yourself!

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That leopard print is fantastic, right? And if Hillary Clinton is secretly your fashion icon and you can't get enough, you're in luck, because I thought some context might be necessary. Here are a few gorgeous gowns she's sported in the past.

Hillary's 1993 Inaugural Ball Gown

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I can't get enough of this one!

At The Kennedy Honors Gala in 2011

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A beautiful, yet conservative choice.

And Again In 2012

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Consistent with her choices today, this dress is bright, feminine and professional all at once.

Hillary Clinton at Chelsea's Wedding

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It doesn't get much more feminine than this, but beautiful none-the-less!

At 2015 Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards

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And a little more understated and conservative here.

While chances are Clinton will be a little too busy to make it to 2016's Met Gala, I have my fingers crossed for a future appearance.