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All The Most Memorable Looks From Inauguration Day 2021

Caroline Bologna
·Senior Reporter, HuffPost Life
·8 min read

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.”

Amanda Gorman recites her poem, “The Hill We Climb," in a Prada coat and headband during Wednesday's inauguration ceremony. (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)
Amanda Gorman recites her poem, “The Hill We Climb," in a Prada coat and headband during Wednesday's inauguration ceremony. (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)

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.

Vice President Kamala Harris walks with her family, including her niece's husband Nikolas Ajagu, during Wednesday's brief inaugural parade. (Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON via Getty Images)
Vice President Kamala Harris walks with her family, including her niece's husband Nikolas Ajagu, during Wednesday's brief inaugural parade. (Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON via Getty Images)
Harris hugs her great-niece Amara before walking the parade route with her family. Ajagu's shoes are visible on the left. (Photo: Mark Makela via Getty Images)
Harris hugs her great-niece Amara before walking the parade route with her family. Ajagu's shoes are visible on the left. (Photo: Mark Makela via Getty Images)

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.

Ella Emhoff stands next to her brother, Cole, during the inauguration ceremony. Their father, Doug Emhoff, is to the left. (Photo: Rob Carr via Getty Images)
Ella Emhoff stands next to her brother, Cole, during the inauguration ceremony. Their father, Doug Emhoff, is to the left. (Photo: Rob Carr via Getty Images)

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.

Lady Gaga picks up her skirt after singing the national anthem during the inauguration. (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)
Lady Gaga picks up her skirt after singing the national anthem during the inauguration. (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)

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.

Barack and Michelle Obama arrive at the inauguration ceremony. (Photo: JONATHAN ERNST via Getty Images)
Barack and Michelle Obama arrive at the inauguration ceremony. (Photo: JONATHAN ERNST via Getty Images)

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.

Hairstylist Christ Appleton detailed how he created J. Lo’s shiny, luscious look ― with her hair perfectly slicked back into billowing waves.

“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.”

Jennifer Lopez performs a medley of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” (with a quick nod to her song, "Let's Get Loud"). (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)
Jennifer Lopez performs a medley of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” (with a quick nod to her song, "Let's Get Loud"). (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)

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.

Harris and Emhoff are pictured as she is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. (Photo: ANDREW HARNIK via Getty Images)
Harris and Emhoff are pictured as she is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. (Photo: ANDREW HARNIK via Getty Images)

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.

First daughter Ashley Biden and her family look on during the "Celebrating America" program at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)
First daughter Ashley Biden and her family look on during the "Celebrating America" program at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

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.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Wednesday's ceremony. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Wednesday's ceremony. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images)

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.

Jill and Joe Biden arrive at the inauguration. (Photo: PATRICK SEMANSKY via Getty Images)
Jill and Joe Biden arrive at the inauguration. (Photo: PATRICK SEMANSKY via Getty Images)
The couple watches the night's fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)
The couple watches the night's fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

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.

Hunter Biden holds his son, Beau, at the inauguration. (Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images)
Hunter Biden holds his son, Beau, at the inauguration. (Photo: Tom Williams via Getty Images)

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.

Naomi (left) and Finnegan Biden arrive at the inauguration. Cousin Natalie Biden walks in front of them. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)
Naomi (left) and Finnegan Biden arrive at the inauguration. Cousin Natalie Biden walks in front of them. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Katy Perry

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.

Katy Perry performs during the "Celebrating America" inaugural concert hosted Wednesday night by Tom Hanks. (Photo: Handout via Getty Images)
Katy Perry performs during the "Celebrating America" inaugural concert hosted Wednesday night by Tom Hanks. (Photo: Handout via Getty Images)

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.