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On this Inauguration Day, the clothes were not quiet.

As the world had their eyes glued on America’s historic day on Wednesday, Jan. 20, it was hard not to notice the fashion that came along with it. From Vice President Kamala Harris vibrant purple ensemble to the sizable brooch adorned over the bust of performer Lady Gaga, the sartorial statements were sprinkled not so subtly throughout the milestone event.

From brand decisions to purposeful accessories, much goes into picking an outfit for such a monumental public occasion, especially one being broadcast around the world and documented in photos, tweets and the like for decades to come.

So of course, with much to take in on this tremendous milestone, it’s possible you might have missed some of these meaningful style details–and that’s where we come in. Whether it was a mask adorned with a message or Bernie Sanders‘ mittens, E! News has a breakdown of the fashion you need to see and the stories behind it all.


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ 2021 Inauguration in Photos

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A Mask With a MessageGiven the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, attendees at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration arrived with one extra accessory: a face mask. Though mouths were covered, President Bill Clinton still made a statement with help from his mask, which displayed three powerful words, “We the people.”
Bernie’s MittensWhen Senator Bernie Sanders arrived to the Capitol for the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, he did so wearing a pair of mittens. In addition to helping the former Democratic presidential hopeful keep warm while standing outside in January, the gloves also have a special story. According to BuzzFeed News political reporter Ruby Cramer, the mittens were made by Vermont teacher Jen Ellis from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. Cramer reported Ellis gave Sanders the gloves several years ago and he went on to wear them during his campaign for president.
Style Star SpottedSecond Daughter Ella Emhoff made a sartorial splash at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration with a beaded, plaid Miu Miu coat that instantly caught people’s attention online and has since been getting rave reviews. As one tweet put it, “Excited for Ella Emhoff to become a style icon over the next four years.”
Designer DecisionsAs the first Black vice president, Kamala Harris shined a spotlight on Black designers for her historic moment when she sported a dress by Sergio Hudson and coat by Christopher John Rogers, both Black American designers.
Crossing Party LinesWhile less attention has historically been paid to male presidential style, President Joe Biden‘s fashion choice for the landmark occasion should not be overlooked. The newly inaugurated 46th president sported a navy suit paired with a navy overcoat, both by Ralph Lauren. Lauren, an iconic designer synonymous with American fashion, has dressed White House figures for years, notably from both political parties.
Extending an Olive BranchAs Lady Gaga stepped out to perform the National Anthem, she did so with a very visible accessory by Schiaparelli Haute Couture: a gilded brooch of a dove carrying an olive branch. The image is historically considered a symbol of peace, something the star has been vocal about leading into Inauguration Day. “I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” she wrote on Instagram on Jan. 19. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.” As she later echoed on Wednesday on social media, “A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other.”
The Power of PurpleA standout color on Inauguration Day was purple, a seemingly coordinated effort among the country’s most prominent female figures, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris. The color, which Clinton memorably sported for her concession speech in 2016, is said to represent bipartisanship as it is a mix of blue and red, the colors associated with the Democratic and Republican parties and also the ones featured on the American flag.
A Sparkling First LadyDonning New York City-based and female-founded brand Markarian, First Lady Jill Biden stood out in an ocean blue ensemble said by the brand to signify “trust, confidence, and stability.” As a glamorous detail, the coat was adorned with Swarovski crystals, which made the new first lady sparkle in the light.
Suffragette WhiteOn a historic day for women given the inauguration as Kamala Harris as America’s first female vice president, white was an anticipated shade due to its ties to the history of women’s suffrage and its continued symbolism of women’s rights. It was on full display thanks in part to one of the inauguration’s A-list performers, Jennifer Lopez, who donned head-to-toe white in the form of a Chanel pantsuit.

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