Hidden meaning behind Kamala Harris' inauguration outfit

·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president of the US today - and she made sure to make a bold fashion statement when doing so.

The 56-year-old - who is the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the role - chose to honour a Black designer, Christopher John Rogers, for the inauguration ceremony.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff wave to former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.  During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff wave at the inauguration ceremony where Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Getty Images

She swapped her pantsuits and Converse sneakers for a brilliant purple dress and coat by Rogers, pairing it with a black face mask.

Kamala wasn’t alone in choosing a purple hue for the day, with former first lady, Michelle Obama, arriving in a head-to-toe Sergio Hudson purple outfit for the occasion and former presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton, arriving in a deep purple pantsuit by Ralph Lauren.

RELATED:

The former secretary of state noted in her 2017 memoir What Happened while reflecting on the election she lost to former President Trump. “The morning after the election, Bill and I both wore purple. It was a nod to bipartisanship (blue plus red equals purple).”

For that 2016 concession speech, Clinton wore a purple-and-grey pantsuit (also by Ralph Lauren), matching with husband Bill’s purple tie.

Kamala Harris, flanked by husband Doug Emhoff, is sworn in as the 49th US Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Kamala Harris, flanked by husband Doug Emhoff, is sworn in as US Vice President by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Photo: Getty Images

People online believe there’s a significant reason why all three women of prominence chose the colour for such a momentous occasion.

According to many, the colour represents bipartisanship and America coming together because combining red (colour of the Republican party) and blue (colour of the Democratic party) make purple.

Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are seen before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington,
Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are seen arriving for the inauguration. Photo: Getty Images
Former US President Barack Obama and Former US First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Michelle Obama, arriving in a head-to-toe Sergio Hudson purple outfit for the occasion. Photo: Getty Images

“I'm no fashion expert, but I always read purple as a nod to bipartisanship and unity (the theme of the day) since, you know, red + blue = purple. #InaugurationDay”

“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,” another said.

CNN anchor Abby Phillip, pointed out that Kamala Harris has often worn the colour through the Biden, Harris campaign trail, as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, who was the first Black woman to run for president in 1972 and used the colour on her flyers.

Purple is also one of the official colours of the suffragist movement, which resulted in the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensuring women the right to vote, and historically associated with royalty.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton arrives with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.  During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton arrives with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: Getty Images
Former US President Bill Clinton arrives with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington,DC on January 20, 2021.
Hilary Clinton, arriving in a deep purple pantsuit by Ralph Lauren. Photo: Getty Images

The Vice President will wear a dress and coat from another Black designer, Sergio Hudson, later in the day. Hudson is a South Carolina native based in New York City, and is also responsible for former first lady Michelle Obama’s striking magenta ensemble.

Meanwhile, the first lady made a splash in an ocean blue wool tweed coat and dress set custom-made for her by Markarian, the New York City-based label founded by designer Alexandra O’Neill.

Kamala Harris and Jill Biden both wore bold ensembles by American designers for the inauguration.
Kamala Harris and Jill Biden both wore bold ensembles by American designers for the inauguration. Photo: Getty Images

Paired, in light of the pandemic, with a matching silk face mask, the outfit is hand-embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals in a subtle floral pattern. While her coat also has a dark blue velvet collar, her tapered dress features a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt.

According to a press release from Markarian, the vibrant ocean blue hue is intended to “signify trust, confidence and stability.” She wore matching gloves and nude heels.

People online saw the significance in Kamala Harris and Jill Biden’s outfits, with one person writing: “Kamala Harris and Jill Biden are both wearing outfits designed by American designers! Thank you, it’s great to have America recognized again.”

With extra reporting by Erin Donnelly and Elise Solé

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting