The Hidden Meaning of All Those Purple Outfits at Today’s Inauguration

Lauren Adhav
·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

  • Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Kamala Harris all showed up to the inauguration wearing various shades of purple.

  • Apparently, the shade reveals a deeper meaning about bipartisanship, since the hue is made by combining blue and red, the colors representing the Democratic and Republican parties.

  • Hillary Clinton also wore the hue in her 2016 concession speech while talking about America’s political divide.

Today is the day! The inauguration of Joe Biden has finally arrived. And although tightened security after the Capitol insurrection by a Trump-supporting mob on January 6 has limited crowds, the main political figures have arrived to attend the historic event. Michelle Obama pulled up to the Capitol with Barack Obama wearing a head-to-toe mulberry-purple outfit featuring a long coat, pants, a matching top, and a statement gold belt by Sergio Hudson.

Another person who opted for purple this morning was Hillary Clinton, who went with more of a violet shade for her outfit. She arrived with Bill Clinton shortly after the Obamas.

Soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris is also wearing a similar shade to HRC for the ceremony. She donned a purple coat by designer Christopher John Rogers over what looks like a coordinating top. Per CNN’s Abby Phillip, Kamala often wore the color in her own presidential campaign as a nod to Shirley Chisholm, who was the first Black woman to run for president in 1972 under the Democratic party and the first Black woman elected to U.S. Congress. Chisholm used the color purple in her campaign flyers.

So if you’re asking what’s up with all the matching going on, many are speculating that it represents bipartisanship and America coming together because combining red (representing the Republican party) and blue (representing the Democratic party) make purple. Swing states are often referred to as “purple” states as well.

If you remember, Hillary Clinton also wore the color in her 2016 concession speech when she lost to Donald Trump. Bill even wore a purple tie. In her speech, she said:

“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.”

Photo credit: The Washington Post - Getty Images
Photo credit: The Washington Post - Getty Images

Purple (along with green and white) is also on the suffragette flag, due to its connection with royalty. The colors were adopted in 1908, and it represented “the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity.” So lots of meanings are associated with the hue, and of course, with the incredible significance of today’s inauguration, you know that these figures would use the occasion to make both fashion and political statements with their clothing.

You love fashion deep-dives. So do we. Let’s overanalyze things together. ✔️

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