Why so many women including Michelle Obama wore purple to inauguration ceremony

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Chelsea Ritschel
·2 min read
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Why so many people wore purple to inauguration  (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Why so many people wore purple to inauguration (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as the country’s new leaders, several attendees used the opportunity to seemingly send a message of unity through their outfits.

On Wednesday, numerous high-profile individuals, including the new vice president herself, as well as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, arrived at the inaugural ceremony wearing purple.

The vice president chose an outfit consisting of a shift dress and matching coat in a vibrant shade of purple by Black American designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson for the historical day.

For Ms Obama, the colour came in the form of a raspberry-coloured outfit and ankle-length coat with a matching gold belt, while Ms Clinton opted for a purple pantsuit and scarf.

Ms Warren accessorised with the colour as well, wearing a light purple scarf and a darker purple face mask.

And, on Tuesday, Dr Jill Biden chose an outfit in the colour to attend at a Covid-19 memorial at the Lincoln Memorial.

The seemingly intentional colour choice was significant, as purple is often used to represent bipartisanship because it is a mix of blue, signifying the Democratic party, and red, for the Republican party.

Purple also has historic ties to the suffragette movement, with Vanity Fair previously noting that the colour, along with white and green, makes up the suffragette flag.

Why so many people wore purple on Inauguration DayGetty Images
Why so many people wore purple on Inauguration DayGetty Images

For Ms Harris, the colour also has another meaning, as she often wore purple during her campaign to honour Shirley Chisholm, who inspired her career through her own presidential run.

On social media, the purple outfits were met with praise, with many applauding the sartorial statement of unity.

“I love that so many attendees at the Inauguration ceremony are wearing something purple, symbolic of bipartisanship. Red + Blue = Purple,” one person tweeted. “It is time for unity and healing. No more hate. No more division.”

Another said: “So much purple at the Inauguration. If you think back to crayons, it’s a beautiful blend of red and blue. Today let’s not be red and blue, Democrats or Republicans. Let’s just be Americans.”

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