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Things We Saw Today: Biden Inauguration Fashion Sparked Monochromatic Appreciation and Many Memes

Many a fashion-related meme emerged today from Joe Biden’s Presidential Inauguration. While fun was had with Bernie Sanders’ coat and Lady Gaga’s Hunger Games-esque brooch, the styles worn by the first couple and the Vice President and Second Gentleman make a statement. What we saw were bold, monochromatic jewel tones that brightened up the day and often featured diverse and up-and-coming American designers.

It’s incredibly frustrating when female politicians and official figures have the conversation about them narrowed down to their outfits. For example, take these back-to-back Tweets from Forbes:

We can, unfortunately, expect quite a bit more of this sort of thing in the future now that we have our first female Vice-President. But not all fashion discussion has to be sexist or scathing.

It can also be fun to gaze upon our new leaders and find out what they’re wearing and generate a meme or two. And, as Vanity Fair declares, in 2021 we’re now seeing a return of “fashion as diplomacy,” making a statement through the designers and accessories chosen. Fashion is also political. For those keeping track at home:

  • President Biden, breaking with presidential Brooks Brothers tradition, wore a navy suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. Lauren also made his blue tie and mask.
  • Dr. Jill Biden wore a bright blue dress and coat by designer Alexandra O’Neill of Markarian, a brand that emphasizes sustainability. O’Neill says that she was inspired to sew and start designing by her grandmother.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris wore designs by two Black American designers—clothes by Christopher John Roberts and heels by Sergio Hudson (who is also responsible for Michelle Obama’s show-stopping plum suit). The color she chose, purple, is seen as a “unifying” shade.
  • The first Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, also wore Ralph Lauren.

There were other significant fashion moments at the Inauguration beyond the two couples in the limelight.

I am not crying. You, in fact, are crying:

The incredible Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman made waves with her gorgeous verse, and her eye-catching yellow coat was a social media hit.

Michelle Obama’s stunning look turned heads and brought a thousand memes bursting into being.

As did Senator Bernie Sanders’ coat look/subsequent memes. Want those mittens? Well, their creator is likely swamped, but if you want to give it a shot …

Lady Gaga’s outfits drew Hunger Games and Star Wars mentions.

A few of the other memes and observations that also caught our eye …

And finally:

What did you see on this fine Inauguration Day?

(image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.