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Sen. Bernie Sanders certainly felt the icy burn of the cold day at the Capitol as well as that of the pithy Twitter users who couldn't get enough of his casual Inauguration Day look.
The Vermont senator became an unexpected meme during Wednesday's festivities after being photographed appearing extremely uncomfortable and cold while in his seat ahead of the ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and inauguration performers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez catalyzed numerous articles and tweets about their symbolic wardrobe choices for the auspicious occasion.
But Sanders, a former presidential hopeful who became an important ally to President Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign, made a sartorial statement all his own. One of the IDGAF variety.
The 79-year-old lawmaker donned his signature utilitarian Burton jacket amid a sea of bespoke trench coats. (Burton is a snowboarding company based in Burlington, Vt., and a longtime supporter of Sanders).
The progressive politician also prominently displayed patterned knit mittens and inexplicably carried a large manila envelope to the ceremony. It's all business, all the time for this no-frills civil servant.
Joe Biden will inherit from Trump: The worst economy since the Great Depression, the worst public health crisis in 100 years, massive wealth inequality, the existential threat of climate change, a racist immigration system. These unprecedented crises demand unprecedented action.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 19, 2021
Ruby Cramer, a reporter for Buzzfeed, noted that Sanders previously wore the same mittens on the campaign trail during his presidential bid. The Green New Deal scribe was given the mittens two years ago by Vermont teacher Jen Ellis, who made them "from repurposed wool sweaters” and lined them with “fleece made from recycled plastic bottles." Men's magazine Esquire noted the jacket proved that "You Only Need One Good Coat."
Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt. She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. pic.twitter.com/ErLr29lY2t
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 20, 2021
Like the other guests attending the inauguration during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanders also wore a disposable blue surgical mask. But that's neither here nor there.
Here are the best tweets reacting to Sanders's look and stance, and some of the best guesses as to what was in that envelope:
Bernie dressed to stand on line at the post office. pic.twitter.com/tVgFQisnWy
— Clare Malone (@ClareMalone) January 20, 2021
"I am once again asking for a space heater." https://t.co/2PmfOWFGYE
— Daisy Razor-in-candy (@daisy_razor) January 20, 2021
I am once again asking that you not talk to me at parties. pic.twitter.com/b6wzZNv9KG
— Obed Manuel (@obedmanuel) January 20, 2021
If lady Gaga is serving mockingjay than Bernie is serving district 12 vibes pic.twitter.com/7Bu6GVsc0e
— kel (@kel485) January 20, 2021
Bernie looks fully prepared to leave this event early to mail his taxes and cash a cashier's check pic.twitter.com/mKJHshDs5T
— Don King's Experienced Graphic Designer (@BoxrecGrey) January 20, 2021
bernie arrives at inauguration, carrying what can only be a copy of The Plan in his manila envelope pic.twitter.com/NLLxVcJk4G
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 20, 2021
Bernie looks like he's going to the bank to deposit his Social Security Check. pic.twitter.com/7uzdWqodT6
— To Be Openly Black is a Revolutionary Act (@RealKHiveQueenB) January 20, 2021
Bernie has places to be after this 😭 pic.twitter.com/N8fSBHwgZi
— astasia (@AstasiaWill) January 20, 2021
bernie absolutely crushing vermont dadcore pic.twitter.com/fWp4dX5Xe2
— rebecca jennings (@rebexxxxa) January 20, 2021
Bernie with zero sartorial consideration. Just full Vermont grandfather pic.twitter.com/hCmf14AeZg
— Kozza (@Kozza) January 20, 2021
I, for one, took mental note of Bernie Sanders and his grey parka and woolly mitts. Fashion icon for me and millions like me. https://t.co/jtnrRo4uWZ
— Les Perreaux (@perreaux) January 20, 2021
Everyone else: wearing giant, dressy black and grey coats
Bernie: This is my good jacket, and it keeps me warm. I’m wearing it pic.twitter.com/fZk9I90iVw
— Cameron Newton (@CamBNewton) January 20, 2021
Make no mistake, this is how Bernie would’ve shown up to his own inauguration as well. pic.twitter.com/IODzoGL1gJ
— Feed Me Bridgers™ (@TimDuffy) January 20, 2021
all I hear is you describing my ideal man
— mb (@bellacatzzz) January 20, 2021
Got a terrific spot at Tanglewood, not budging pic.twitter.com/yPCGhI25pY
— Paul Grellong (@paulgrellong) January 20, 2021
Bernie dressed like “Gotta drop this off at the post office, get a money order while I'm there, maybe grab a coffee, and if I got enough time maybe pick up some milk on my way home” 😂😂 Black Twitter pic.twitter.com/8KRDShxML0
— Ch (@Chief44445) January 20, 2021
“This could’ve been an email” pic.twitter.com/kn68z6eDhY
— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) January 20, 2021
— White Mystery (@MissAlexWhite) January 20, 2021
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.