Presenting: Our 2021 Presidential Inauguration Style Awards

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Still buzzing from the excitement of yesterday’s inauguration events? Us, too. Between the historic firsts and the memorable performances, it was a day we won’t soon forget. And thankfully, we even got a good meme or two out of it (thanks, Bernie!)

To reflect on the biggest fashion moments of the day, we present: the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Style Awards. From Jennifer Lopez’s OTT ensemble to a couple of fantastic sneaker moments, these are the style standouts from yesterday’s events.

The “I Can Still—And Will Always—Bring It” Award

Barack and Michelle Obama attending the 2021 Inauguration Ceremony
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Yesterday’s “wear purple” memo didn’t miss Michelle’s notice, and she made the gesture – which symbolizes bipartisanship; the two party colours coming together, and is also the colour of the suffragette movement – her own with a rich monochromatic outfit crafted by one of her favourite designers, L.A.-based Sergio Hudson. A cool, powerful outfit for a cool, powerful woman.

The “Fly Girl” Award

Lady Gaga’s Schiaparelli gown brought the drama during her performance of the American National Anthem, but the accompanying brooch by the brand really stole the show. “A dove carrying an olive branch. May we all make peace with each other” the star said on Twitter, and we couldn’t agree more.

The “I Should’ve Listened to Coco” Award

Gabrielle Chanel once said, “Elegance is refusal.” Jennifer Lopez, in a blizzard of white Chanel, could have followed her advice and lightened up on the hardware and pearls.

Crowning Glory

National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, wore a custom yellow coat and sumptuous satin headband by Prada, as well as earrings gifted by Oprah (!). We love how she styled the ruby red headwear, crown-style, over a stack of braids for a look truly fit for a queen. This is one of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration style moments we’ll always remember.

The “It’s Easy Being Green” Award

Author, lawyer and activist – and Vice President Harris’s niece – Meena Harris looked cozy and chic in a sage shearling coat by Coach from the New York-based brand’s Fall 2020 collection, which she wore over emerald separates by Ulla Johnson.

The “Skirting the Issue” Award

Deb Haaland, the U.S. Representative from New Mexico’s 1st congressional district and President Biden’s nomination to become the new Secretary for the Department of the Interior, paid glorious homage to her Laguna Pueblo tribe ancestry in a ribbon skirt made by Aiukli Designs.

Top Topper

Vice President Harris’s step-daughter, Ella Emhoff, is a fashion designer and student at Parsons, and she showed off her style savvy in an embellished coat from Miu Miu. She wore the sparkle-adorned piece with a prairie-style dress by cult label, Batsheva.

Sweetest Sisters

Spotted in mini-me takes on a leopard-print coat worn by their great aunt Kamala, Meena Harris’s daughters Amara and Leela were primed for future style icon status. The custom chubby styles were made by emerging New York-based brand, I Love Plum.

Boldest Boots

A photo of the Bidens at the 2021 Inauguration
Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

There were plenty of classic pumps on view yesterday, but Ashley Biden – daughter of Joe and Jill – stepped out of the box in a pair of tall, lace-up boots by American designer Gabriela Hearst (who was just tapped to join Chloé as its Creative Director).

Most On-Brand

In a look that launched 1,000 memes, senator Bernie Sanders made waves – and stayed true to his eco-minded and frugal agenda – with his re-wearing of a pair of mittens given to him by teacher Jen Ellis, which were made with upcycled yarn and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. Perhaps Bernie is the 2021 Presidential Inauguration style icon we never knew we needed.

Most Precious Kicks

Meena Harris’ husband, Nikolas Ajagu, caused a stir on Twitter in Dior Air Jordan 1s, which originally retailed for $2,000 but are now going for up to $10,000 on resale sites.

Most Poignant Pearls

Many piled on the pearls for the inauguration ceremony, including Kamala Harris in a strand designed by Wilfredo Rosado; but the most meaningful were worn by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a U.S. representative for California’s 13th Congressional District. The strands once belonged to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to US Congress.

The “Where’s My Valet” Award

The lewks didn’t end with the inauguration’s finale, though. A number of stars turned up in the Celebrating America special event in the evening, including Katy Perry, who stunned with a rendition of her song “Firework” and a patriotic but walking-prohibitive ensemble by Thom Browne.

Most Dynamic Duo

Talk about a perfect pairing! Performing their new song “Better Days” during the evening’s festivities, Justin Timberlake wore a dapper suit by Tom Ford, while Ant Clemons donned an all-black-everything look punctuated by his signature bright red toque.

Most Unexpected Pairing

Taking a cue from street style savants who know the potency of pairing sneakers with more sophisticated fare, President Biden’s grand-daughter Maisy wore a quirky Rodarte dress with Nike high tops.

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