President Biden’s inauguration has been chock full of memorable fashion moments: Michelle Obama’s fresh press and Sergio Hudson pantsuit, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Violet Beauregard look, her stepdaughter Ella Emhoff wearing a Miu Miu coat while her nephew-in-law rocked Dior 1's. And, of course, there was poet laureate Amanda Gorman and her incredible Prada headband. But it was Sen. Bernie Sanders’s effortless “It’s just another day that ends in Y” get up that instantly became meme fodder.
While those around him wore fancy designer labels, Sanders wore a grey jacket by Burton, a Burlington, Vermont-based snowboarding company. And if it looks familiar, it is: It’s the same one he wore in his presidential campaign ads last year.
He also wore some comfy knitted mittens made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont who gifted the mittens to Sanders a few years ago. According to Ellis, the gloves are made from repurposed wool sweaters and are lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. Sanders has been seeing wearing them several times.
Topping off the look was a non-descript hospital mask and a manila envelope, which was reportedly the same envelope his inauguration tickets were mailed in. Frankly, the dude looked like the Inauguration was just another errand he had to get to that day.
CBS’s Gayle King informed Sanders that his snow shoveling outfit was the talk of the Internet and prompted him to explain his sartorial decision.
“You know in Vermont, we dress warm, we know something about the cold, and we’re not so concerned about good fashion, we want to keep warm,” Sanders said, chuckling. “And that’s what I did today.”
Still, he could have worn a hat, which would have both cemented his laid back look and would have kept his head from lookin’ so cold. Sure, a breezy January day in D.C. ain’t Vermont, but put on a beanie, bro.
Sanders’s aloofness alone makes him naturally meme-able, but it was his apparent nonchalance that really made the meme hit just right. Even amid the relief of former President Trump out of the White House and the significance of Harris’s historic appointment, for those who are still uncertain about Biden, anxious about the political strife that has increased in recent weeks, or just can’t stand the pageantry of the day, photos of Sanders and his “okay, sure, whatever” expression resonated.
But more than anything, the dude is just unintentionally goofy. The memes write themselves, which is a blessing for those of us who are too online and a curse for whoever is responsible for explaining what a meme is to Sanders.