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  • President Joe Biden's Ralph Lauren Suit Conveyed a Powerful Message
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    The President wore an American-designed suit in his go-to color.

    BY OLIVIA HOSKEN JAN 20, 2021

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    W hen President Joe Biden took the oath to become the United States' 46th president, he wore a suit, tie, coat, and mask by American designer Ralph Lauren. In the same way that the purple outfits worn by Vice President Kamala Harris, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former First Lady Michelle Obama represented a call for unity, Biden's suit was rich with symbolism.

    Most notably, he chose navy blue, the color of the Democratic Party and the shade he wore exclusively throughout his campaign. The lighter blue of his tie coordinated with his wife Dr. Jill Biden's blue ensemble by New York designer Alexandra O'Neill of Markarian . O'Neill explained that not only was the color chosen for its Democratic association, it was also mean to "signify trust, confidence, and stability." It is worth noting that former presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton all wore blue ties as well, displaying their solidarity with a smooth transition of power.

    The label most often associated with former presidents is Brooks Brothers, the two centuries old haberdashery that's been a political fixture since the days of Abraham Lincoln. Lauren may be a departure from the sartorial norm, at least as presidents are concerned, but he has long been in the wardrobes of Washington's powerful, especially First Ladies, like Nancy Reagan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Michelle Obama.

    President Joe Biden signs the Inauguration declaration in a Ralph Lauren navy suit.

    POOL / GETTY IMAGES

    The president has worn Ralph Lauren frequently over the years, unlike former President Donald Trump, who favored Italian Brioni suits. By selecting an American fashion house that has long represented what we think of as "classic American," Biden underscored the values of national pride and honor he exalted during his remarks on Wednesday.

    Lauren is himself a history buff, someone who once received the James Smithsonian Bicentennial Medal for his philanthropic help in preserving the Star Spangled Banner. The woman handing him the prize? Clinton herself.

    The Biden transition team made a point of honoring the victims of the coronavirus pandemic amid the pomp and circumstance of this week, and it couldn't have escaped their attention that Lauren's foundation donated $10 million to aid coronavirus relief efforts . (The company is also starting production on 250,000 face masks and 25,000 isolation gowns for healthcare workers in the frontlines of the pandemic.)

    The former presidents who attended the inauguration all sported blue ties, the color of the Democratic Party.

    CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

    In fact, Biden wore a Ralph Lauren Polo, one emblazoned with the Pony player, for a most important recent public appearance: getting his Covid-19 shot.

    Just as Obama's suits were famously standard-issue (gray or blue, so that he didn't have to think about what to wear), Biden's navy suit is quiet, but well-crafted. He has undoubtedly picked up a sartorial sense in his 48 years working at the Capitol, choosing a classic style: slim-cut, two-button, notched-lapel number with a crisp white pocket square. It is roomy enough for a full-day of activities but elegant enough to match the gravitas of the affair.

    The navy suit, much like its wearer, is a true-blue American.

    OLIVIA HOSKEN Style and Interiors Writer

    Olivia Hosken is the Style & Interiors writer for Town & Country, covering all things design, architecture, fashion, and jewelry

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