The inauguration of President Joe Biden was a day marked by messages of unity, truth, respect for others and hope for the future. For many, the occasion also offered the opportunity to exhale and enjoy some beautiful fashion without a sense of impending doom about the state of democracy.
Thankfully, sitting at home in our sweatpants for nearly a year has not diminished our collective appreciation for great style. From the fabulous coats to the trendy shoes, many inauguration looks were all over social media on Wednesday.
We’ve put together a rundown of the fashion highlights from Inauguration Day.
Amanda Gorman’s Bright Look
Viewers were awestruck watching the 22-year-old poet deliver her stunning poem, “The Hill We Climb.” Naturally, she sported a symbolism-filled outfit to match.
Gorman radiated in a yellow coat and red headband, both by Prada (she admires head designer Miuccia Prada her outspoken feminist beliefs and intellect). Gorman told Vogue the choice of yellow was a nod to first lady Jill Biden, who recommended her for the inauguration role.
“She said, ‘I saw this video of you and you were wearing yellow and I loved it,’” Gorman recalled.
Oprah Winfrey provided accessories, including a pair of earrings and a ring with special meaning.
“While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion, to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet,” Gorman tweeted. “Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before.”
The Air Jordans On Meena Harris’ Husband Nikolas Ajagu
Kamala Harris’ niece Meena and her family frequently accompany the new vice president at public events. For Inauguration Day, Meena’s husband Nikolas Ajagu generated a lot of buzz for his choice of footwear ― a pair of Air Jordan 1s from the brand’s collaboration with designer Dior.
Shoe fanatics quickly identified the kicks as the Air Jordan 1 Retro High Dior, and Meena confirmed it on Twitter with a simple “Yes smh.” She later followed up with more background on the shoe pick.
“When Nik was packing for D.C. he actually asked me whether he should bring Jordans or stick to dress shoes,” she tweeted. “I didn’t know which Js he was considering, and apparently I was in a jolly mood so I said ‘Do what makes you happy.’ He never followed up either way. Anyway what a great day.”
Notably, Biden’s granddaughter Maisy opted for similar footwear ― Air Jordan 1 Mid Sisterhoods.
Artsy Flair From Ella Emhoff
Ajagu wasn’t the only Harris family member to make waves with style watchers. The vice president’s stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, was another fan favorite, thanks to her Miu Miu coat with embellished shoulders and a large embroidered white collar.
The 21-year-old daughter of second gentleman Doug Emhoff wore a Batsheva dress underneath and topped the look with a black mask and a Loeffler Randall headband to hold back her center-parted curls. One Twitter user referred to Emhoff as “the first daughter of Bushwick” ― a Brooklyn neighborhood and a fitting label for the artist and design student who attends Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Lady Gaga’s “Hunger Games”-esque Outfit
To perform the national anthem, statement outfit queen Lady Gaga wore a custom Schiaparelli haute couture ensemble designed by Daniel Roseberry. The look included a voluminous red silk faille skirt and fitted navy jacket with a gilded brooch.
As Gaga noted on Twitter, the brooch was a dove holding an olive branch, a symbol of peace and healing. Many were quick to point out the look was very reminiscent of the fashions in the “Hunger Games” trilogy ― particularly heroine Katniss Everdeen’s meaningful mockingjay pin. Others compared her to Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones.”
The pop star topped the getup with a crown braid woven with a black ribbon.
Michelle Obama’s Everything
The former first lady and eternal fashion icon did not disappoint with her inauguration outfit.
Black American designer Sergio Hudson was behind the plum-colored ensemble, which included a turtleneck, coat, wide-legged trousers and a striking gold buckle to cinch the waist. Washington-based hairstylist Yene Damtew finished the look with perfectly bouncy curls. As many Twitter users summed up, we’re still not over it.
J. Lo’s Hair
Jennifer Lopez took the stage during Wednesday’s ceremony to perform “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” in an all-white outfit by Chanel and major bling. But the buzziest part of the look was the pop icon’s voluminous ponytail.
“The vibe was inspired by ’90s supermodel, classic and timeless,” he told Vogue. “I call it the ‘J-Lo Barbie’ look, sleek at the front and glam at the back.”
Kamala Harris In Purple
The new vice president chose to wear Black designers on Inauguration Day, notably sporting a purple dress and coat outfit by Christopher John Rogers, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Harris accessorized with a flag pin and her signature pearl necklace ― a nod to her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The choice of purple may have been a tribute to the late Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.), the first Black woman to run for president. As a mix of red and blue, purple can also symbolize unity, which former first lady Hillary Clinton opted for with her purple outfit. “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together,” the former secretary of state said.
Ashley Biden’s Tux
First daughter Ashley Biden wore a navy coat during the day, but it was her nighttime outfit that really turned heads. For the “Celebrating America” TV broadcast ushering in the new administration, she changed into a stylish black tux with black heels and a sleek ponytail.
“Listen, Ashley Biden, I’m gonna need to borrow that tux...” at least one person tweeted.
The Most On-Brand Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders was peak Bernie Sanders on Inauguration Day in the same Burton jacket he wore in his viral “I Am Once Again Asking” campaign video. Naturally, the image of the Vermont senator sitting cross-legged ― and socially distanced ― in Washington’s cold became the meme of the day (as did speculation about what was inside the mysterious envelope he brought to the festivities).
Sanders paired his taupe parka with a standard blue surgical mask and eye-catching mittens ― a gift from Vermont teacher Jen Ellis, who made them from “repurposed wool sweaters” and “recycled plastic bottles.”
“In Vermont, we know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned about good fashion,” Sanders told CBS’ Gayle King on Wednesday when asked about his attire. “We want to keep warm. And that’s what I did.”
Jill Biden’s Day And Night Looks
For her Inauguration Day look, the new first lady wore a beautiful blue tweed coat with velvet cuffs, an embellished dress and matching face mask. Her outfit was the creation of young American designer Alexandra O’Neill, founder of the brand Markarian.
“The color blue was chosen for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability,” Markarian said in a statement. “The look was carefully crafted by a small team in the heart of New York City’s Garment Center and hand-finished by O’Neill in her West Village studio.”
For her evening look, Biden wore a white dress, coat and gloves by Uruguay-born, New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst.
Baby Cuteness From Baby Biden
Joe Biden’s youngest grandchild, Beau, brought the cuteness to the inaugural celebration. Born in late March, Beau is the son of Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen, and is named for the president’s other son who died in 2015.
The little guy wore a festive plaid jacket and held a silver rattle. Twitter users went wild over his precious baby bonnet, which appears to be from Feltman Brothers. At night, baby Beau showed off an adorable little vest.
The Biden Granddaughters In Monochrome
Monochrome was definitely the look for inauguration day, and Biden’s granddaughters Naomi, Natalie, Finnegan, and Maisy were prime examples.
The oldest, 27-year-old Naomi, wore white, 22-year-old Finnegan opted for camel, and Maisy, 20, went with black (the three are Hunter’s children from his first marriage). Their 16-year-old cousin Natalie (Beau’s daughter) popped in a pink coat by Lafayette 148 New York, plus coordinating scarf and gloves.
All of the girls topped their looks with perfectly paired face masks.
The pop star wore a dramatic white outfit from Thom Browne as she sang her hit song “Firework” in front of the Lincoln Memorial as part of Wednesday night’s inauguration concert.
Perry’s outfit featured a floor-length skirt, corset and cashmere coat with regal cape vibes. Satin-covered blue and red buttons accented the sleeves and skirt for a patriotic flair.