Today is Joe Biden’s Day. The 78-year-old former Vice President and former senator from Delaware was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C..
While fashion fans are usually focused on what the incoming First Lady is wearing on Inauguration Day (and note, Dr. Jill Biden’s Alexandra O’Neill periwinkle coat was fabulous), we couldn’t help but applaud Biden’s presidential look. For the historic moment, the president donned a Ralph Lauren single-breasted navy suit, winter overcoat and a matching mask made out of the same fabric as his suit.
Some were surprised to see Biden not go with a look from Brooks Brothers, as the label has dressed 41 of the past 45 presidents, including Abraham Lincoln Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump according to WWD. Barack Obama also wore a Brooks Brothers coat, scarf and gloves during his inaugurations in both 2009 and 2013, although over a suit by Chicago label Hart Schaffner Marx for the initial swearing-in.
Despite the break in sartorial tradition, it’s no coincidence Biden turned to such an iconic American designer for this moment in our nation’s history. An all-American success story, Ralph Lauren started The Ralph Lauren Corporation in 1967 simply with men’s ties. Drawing on his interests in sports, The New York City native named his first full line of menswear “Polo” in 1968. He worked out of a single “drawer” from a showroom in the Empire State Building and made deliveries to stores himself. By 1969, the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale’s sold Lauren’s men line exclusively. It was the first time that Bloomingdale’s had given a designer his own in-store shop.
The brand has since become one of the most influential and successful American fashion houses of all time. And since 2008, Lauren has also been the official Olympic designer of Team U.S.A..
While receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine live on television, the then-President-Elect wore a navy Ralph Lauren turtleneck. While getting his second dose, he wore a black polo shirt with the classic pony logo on the chest.
“His wardrobe is timeless, traditional, sophisticated, but cool. Joe and Jill Biden are truly the American dream, and it’s inspiring to see them dress the part,” designer Tommy Hilfiger once told GQ UK.
Biden was sworn in at 12 pm on Wednesday afternoon. Kamala Harris also made history becoming the first woman, first Black person and first South East Asian American to serve as Vice President of The United States. The Howard University alum, wearing a Christopher John Rogers ensemble and Sergio Hudson shoes, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Like the president, Harris’s husband, Greg Emhoff, the country’s first ever Second Gentleman, wore a Ralph Lauren suit.
The event was attended by former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama and their spouses, as well as outgoing Vice President Mike Pence. Breaking from tradition, Trump, who recently became the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice, did not attend. Another thing missing from the day was the crowds. Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, Americans were encouraged to tune in virtually.
Following the ceremonies at the Capitol, which also included performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Garth Brooks, Biden made his way to the White House in part of the reimagined Inaugural Parade. Notably, the Fife and Drum cavalry unit were on hand wearing the uniforms worn by musicians in George Washington’s time according to CNN. Once at the White House, the new president signed a number of executive orders including a mask mandate on federal grounds and rejoining the Paris Accord.