Fans spot hidden meaning behind Jill Biden's election dress

Kristine Tarbert
·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

Incoming First Lady Jill Biden has been praised for her appearance on stage alongside husband President-elect Joe for his victory address on Saturday.

Jill is a professor, a mother and a grandmother, and some thought her outfit choice for the big occasion - an asymmetric floral dress - also carried a hidden meaning.

US President-elect Joe Biden stands with wife Jill Biden after delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020, after being declared the winners of the presidential election. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Jill Biden joined husband Joe on stage. Photo: Getty

Jill chose an asymmetrical black and floral Oscar de la Renta dress, reportedly paying homage to former first ladies.

Every first lady since Jackie Kennedy has been dressed by the Dominican fashion designer, including the inaugural ball gowns for Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Kennedy.

Fans took to Instagram to gush over the designer number, with one writing: “Tradition in the White House”.

“What a lovely message conveyed through a lovely garment,” another wrote.

And as Vogue pointed out online, the outfit choice was also notable for another reason.

“Because it was designed by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, both immigrants to the United States who trained under Oscar de la Renta (himself an immigrant from the Dominican Republic),” the publication explained.

President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden wave to the crowd after Biden's address to the nation from the Chase Center November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. After four days of counting the high volume of mail-in ballots in key battleground states due to the coronavirus pandemic, the race was called for Biden after a contentious election battle against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Jill chose an Oscar de la Renta dress, reportedly paying homage to former first ladies. Photo: Getty

The 69-year-old has also been praised for her commitment to education, having worked as a public school teacher for 20 years.

Husband Joe paid tribute to her in his acceptance speech.

“Teaching isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is,” he said.

“For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady.”


Her time as a First Lady could also bring the White House to the 21st Century, according to history professor from Ohio University Katherine Jellison.

“Most American women have both a work life and a family life, but first ladies have never been allowed to do so,” Katherine said.

“Maybe the time has come, however, when more Americans will feel comfortable with a first lady who isn't on-call at the White House 24/7.”

President-elect Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden gesture to supporters Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
Joe also paid tribute to his wife's commitment to education. Photo: AP

Jill was born in 1951 and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her father rose up the ranks in banking from teller to president, and her mum was a homemaker.

She is no stranger to the glare of the political spotlight. Her husband has been a Washington insider since they wed in 1977, and she was America's second lady for eight years.

As first lady, she is expected to work on education issues and relaunch Joining Forces, a mission to rally around military families that she and Michelle Obama started in 2011.

Biden has also praised his wife as the rock that kept him going after tragedy struck nearly five decades ago.

In 1972, Joe Biden’s young wife and daughter were killed in a car crash, and he was left alone to raise his two young sons, both injured in the accident.

The couple wed in 1977, and she became "Mom" to his sons Hunter and Beau. The Bidens have a daughter, Ashley, who was born in 1981.

Since then, the couple has been through two failed presidential runs, his eight years as vice president, the death of Beau Biden after a battle with cancer -- and now, a successful White House campaign.

"She put us back together," Biden said in a video shown in August during the Democratic National Convention, as he described Jill's impact on the tragedy-scarred family.

"She is so damn tough and loyal."

Additional reporting AFP.

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