The Best Fashion Statement at the 2021 Inauguration

I think most of America, as well as a lot of people worldwide, tuned in to the inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. With all of the world’s eyes on America, Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, and many others showed up in outfits that the internet has been obsessing over. I’m sure you have heard all about the monochrome outfits and how the fashion taste was just impeccable. However, there is one person I feel that we are leaving out of this fashion analysis. One that has made a large, impactful statement in their clothing: Bernie Sanders. That’s right, Bernie Sanders. That meme you’ve been seeing across all social media platforms of Bernie Sanders in the chair with his big coat, his generic medical mask, and his mittens holds a special meaning. 

I think that many people overlooked Bernie and labeled his outfit as the true “Vermont Dad.” While I would agree, I also think that this says so much more about who Bernie Sanders is and what he stands for. Bernie Sanders has always spoken for the people. He constantly recognizes that he is a public servant, and his duty is to serve the people. Through his choice to wear his large coat, his generic mask, and mittens knitted by a schoolteacher, he is showing that he is just like any of his constituents. He chose to come to the inauguration dressed like anyone from the general public might dress. His choice to overlook high fashion and instead show his true self is extremely telling to his character and his commitment to the people.

Now, let’s talk about the mittens. Knit by a schoolteacher, they quickly gained a lot of attention. Bernie’s mittens are even raising money for programs that benefit the people of Vermont. Jen Ellis, the woman behind the mittens, auctioned off some pairs of her handmade mittens to raise money for a dog rescue program benefiting the state of Vermont, as well as an organization that helps LGBTQ+ youth in Vermont. 

I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t gushing over Michelle Obama’s outfit (because I definitely was). And I’m not going to pretend like I wasn’t obsessed with the yellow coat that Amanda Gorman was wearing (because I definitely was). But when you look at it realistically, a lot of Americans see these beautiful outfits and accessories and know that they could not afford an outfit like that themselves. That is why I find Bernie’s plain and simple outfit that much more telling of his commitment to live a life just as the average American does. He emphasizes his duties to the people very often in his speeches, and I find it that much more truthful because he actually understands the people. He is one of them. He understands their issues and their lives because he listens to their concerns and because he actually lives a life like theirs. He made a commitment to the people by becoming a state representative, and I find that he holds that promise and commitment to the utmost importance, especially in the way he presented himself at the inauguration ceremony.