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Review: Inauguration Fashion Megan Cablk and Tessa Devine

The inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, the 46th president of the United States, is undeniably a historic moment. Occurring amidst a global pandemic, an economic crisis and political division within the country, all eyes were turned on the Capitol to watch the new president take office.

The elected officials, Congresspeople, and family members were ready for the attention; this year’s inauguration fashion was one of the best we’ve seen. As always, monochrome has prevailed as inauguration chic, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Former-First Lady Michelle Obama adding a pop of color in the slew of basic suit coats. Accessories were abundant, and this year’s honorable mention category comes in the form of properly-worn masks (bonus points to Pete and Chasten Buttigieg and several others who wore two masks). Here are our top picks for this year’s best inauguration outfits, masks and more.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s outfit was the epitome of professional and elegant, while still letting some of her personality shine through. Dr. Biden continued the previous tradition of most First Ladies by making a statement with her inaugural outfit; the sea blue tweed coat and matching dress were created by American designer Alexandra O’Neill, who founded her own luxury sustainable brand, Markarian. Adorned with crystals and matching jewelry, Dr. Biden had the perfect amount of shine for a First Lady. Tying the whole outfit together, her mask and gloves matched perfectly with the ensemble, creating the cohesive and orderly atmosphere we hope she brings to the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris had a particularly historical day—she became the first Asian-American, African-American and female vice president to serve the United States—and her outfit matched the occasion. Harris chose purple as her signature color, a color representing bipartisanship and solidarity with the women’s suffrage movement, created by two Black designers, Christopher John Rogers, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Sergio Hudson of South Carolina. Adorned with her trademark pearls, black gloves and a black mask, the entire ensemble looked effortless and regal. The country’s first female vice president set a precedent today of bringing more women and minorities into positions of power, and looking good while doing it.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Former First Lady Michelle Obama is known for her event looks. When supporting her former White House companions, she had no qualms (in our opinion) in showing them up. Her all-red look was crafted by Sergio Hudson, a Black designer, and highlighted slightly different shades, a very hip trend in the monochrome world. A large gold belt decorated her waist, drawing attention to the trendy high waistline of the bell-bottom pants. Obama simply knows how to dress for an event, allowing her daring personality to come through.

Eugene Goodman

Weeks ago, Eugene Goodman was serving as a Capitol police officer. Today, he escorted Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, through the Capitol as the acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms. During the Capitol riots, Officer Goodman led a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber, knowing that not all members and aides of the Senate had been evacuated, potentially saving lives. Officer Goodman’s tan jacket over his suit, paired with a patterned tie and scarf, was pleasing to the eye with the simple composition representing the distinguished content of his character. We were particular fans of the scarf—the blue hue matched well with the overcoat as well as his tan shoes, and was quite functional on a windy January day in Washington D.C.

Amanda Gorman

The nation’s first National Youth Laureat, Amanda Gorman, was a standout performer and she served one of the best looks of the inauguration. The 22-year old sported a bright yellow coat, statement ring and earrings, and thick red hair piece tucked into her braids that culminated in a bold look to match her bold words. She captivated the attention and the hearts of America today. We hope that her statement—both her outfit and her poem—catapults the nation forward, with young, Black women like her playing a major role in unifying our democracy.

MEGAN’S HONORABLE MENTION: Bernie Sanders Vermont dadcore

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont earns my honorable mention of the event for his unique theme—“Vermont dadcore” as Twitter user Rebecca Jennings (@rebexxxxa) puts it. Sanders showed up prepared for the cold in a windbreaker coat and patterned mittens. According to Jen Ellis on Twitter, she gifted the mittens to Sanders last year, and they are made of repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled water bottles. While not following the traditional inaugural fashion, Sanders represented his state perfectly and stayed warm while doing so. With his working-chic outfit, Sen. Sanders will certainly be getting right back to work after the ceremony.

TESSA’S HONORABLE MENTION: Garth Brooks’ Blue Jeans and Boots

Country music singer Garth Brooks performed a twangy rendition of Amazing Grace following Joe Biden’s speech. He strutted down the stairs in a black blazer with a matching black mask and cowboy hat, but the focal point of the outfit was his silver buckle belt, blue jeans and tan boots. The outfit definitely fit his twangy performance, but not necessarily the formality of the event. He wins my honorable mention, as it was the first time I’d see anyone confidently rock jeans at a presidential inauguration ceremony.

While we focused on a relatively trivial factor of the inauguration, we truly cannot understate how important this moment is. The Biden-Harris administration has a mountain of tasks ahead of them: saving the economy, recovering from the pandemic, addressing police brutality, squashing white supremacy and hateful rhetoric, and unifying the nation—just to name a few. However, we believe his administration is capable of doing so. Biden’s diverse and qualified cabinet and advisors give us hope for real, sustainable change in America. The people are struggling: financially, physically and in spirit. The promise of addressing the roots of these nation’s issues cannot be a mere statement, never coming to fruition. Now that the fashionable celebration is over, the people demand action and the people must play an important role in dictating the future of the nation. It is time to hold the new administration accountable.