Those Ravishing Inauguration Outfits Had a Deeper Meaning

Darshak Rana

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20th January 2021 was one of my best days after the tragic 2020 to see Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. After a lot of drama and thrill in the past few days, my anticipation grew a thousand times.

To enjoy every moment of the inaugural ceremony, I laid cozily on my couch, eating popcorn, and sipping my afternoon green tea. However, the one thing that caught my attention the most was the attire of the dignitaries.

Being a fashion freak, I note fashion trends that the celebrity follows at the events like award functions, talk shows, or red carpets. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.

Owing to this interest and passion, I have learned a lot about human behavior through the way they dress.

First Impressions

When the film celebrities dress up for the occasion, they intend to make a bold fashion statement. In contrast, politicians' attire sends a strong message around the world without uttering a single word.

To start with, President Joe Biden, First lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff — all decided to wear American designer outfits. Ralph Lauren, Christopher John Rogers, and Markarian were the ones who took center stage on this special occasion.

Melania Trump mostly wore European fashion designers like Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana, which raised my brows to find a probable reason for going all American way.

Maybe choosing American designers could be a strong signal to revert to the White House’s tagline of the America-first, seen during the Obama period.

Maybe. That's just my observation!

Let’s dig further to find out the deeper meanings behind everyone’s outfits at this prestigious event.

Here’s what I noticed and researched.

The Color of Confidence: Blue

At every oath ceremony, the President and the first lady are the centers of attraction. And I noticed that they were all dressed in a lot of blues and bright-colored jewelry.

Mr. President chose to wear a navy blue-colored suit completed by a lighter blue shade tie — designed by Ralph Lauren.

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On the other hand, Dr. Jill Biden decided to wear a fabulous ocean blue wool coat with velvety collars and cuffs by Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill. Her mask also complemented her jacket very well. Inaugural ceremonies have always been an opportunity for the first lady to set the tone, and Dr. Jill used it to perfection.

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If you might have noticed, the carpet color also matched the same. (i.e., blue)

So, what’s this obsession with the color blue?

In an interview, Markarian stated that they settled upon the blue color to signify trust, confidence, and stability.

After a lot of chaos and instability during the past year, Americans needed assurance of trust and stability, and their outfits delivered the same.

Besides, online news suggests that blue became the color of the Democratic party after the iconic and lengthy election of 2000.

According to an online source, all the former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, wore blue ties to display solidarity and a smooth transition of authoritative powers.

The Color of Unity: Purple

Just the way Dr. Jill chose blue, vice president Kamal Harris decided to wear purple.

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Christopher John Rogers, a famous fashion designer known for using bold and bright colors at the New York Fashion Shows, designed Harris’s outfit as perfect as it could be.

But the question remains unanswered; why purple?

When we mix red (Republic’s color) and blue (Democratic’s color), we get purple. Hence, it signifies unity among the country’s two parties.

Through her purple attire, Harris boldly announced the message of togetherness and unity that was very well backed by the president’s address speech.

It was also interesting to note that Hillary Clinton also chose to wear a purple pantsuit by Ralph Lauren, similar to Harris.

So, the message was straight and clear — unity and optimism.

Dove Is Always a Symbol of Peace

Lady Gaga looked surreal with her giant red floating skirt and a blue top complemented with a golden dove brooch. She explained her outfit on Twitter with a caption:

“A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other.”

Here's a screenshot of Lady Gags’s tweet:

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Lady Gaga's Twitter Screenshot by the Author

So, to spread the message of peace and universal brotherhood, Lady Gaga donned the shades of blue, red, and a golden (dove).

The Showstopper: Yellow

For me, Amanda Gorman was the showstopper of the entire event.

Very few of us know that Dr. Jill Biden spotted her at an event at the Library of Congress, where she delivered a poem, “In this Place: An American Lyric.” Dr. Jill liked her so much that she invited Amanda to perform at the swearing ceremony.

According to a CBS tweet, Amanda became the youngest poet in America's history to deliver at the inaugural address.

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In my opinion, not only did she stood apart with a lemon yellow coat by Miuccia Prada, but her speech also left a profound impact. She also paid homage to Maya Angelou and the work of the great Black female poets.

Also, Amanda stated in her interview at Vogue that Oprah Winfrey gifted her the accessories as a tradition. The aviary ring by the mothers-and-daughters-design trio OF Rare Origin and yellow gold hoop earrings studded with white diamonds by Nikos Koulis added to her boldness.

The yellow color signifies happiness, hope, and spontaneity, and Amanda epitomized it.

The Color of Purity and Positivity: White

How can we miss mentioning Jennifer Lopez?

She looked no less than an angel in her white attire. She was all painted white; her hat, mask, top, jacket, pants, diamond accessories, and shoes — everything looked spotless.

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According to psychology, white color signifies purity, innocence, and positivity. Lopez exemplified the same virtues at the event.

Besides, the list of her songs, “This land is your land and Let’s get loud,” also added to the message of equality and peace amongst Americans.

History suggests that suffragists wore white as a gesture to promote equal voting rights for women.

Last Thoughts

A famous quote by actress Julia Stiles describes my passion for human behavior:

“I like analyzing human behavior. It’s complex. That’s what keeps me going.”

Learning human behavior has always interested me, and I have learned a lot by observing them because sometimes people don’t convey their message through words.

I believe that the most incredible way to learn about anyone is to observe the way they dress. Their subtle mannerisms, color and texture choices, print patterns — everything sends a message if you have the ears to understand.

So, instead of just watching, let’s observe!

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