- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
On Wednesday, a photo of Bernie Sanders sitting alone on a humble folding chair at the ceremony went viral after eagle-eyed viewers became enamoured by his decidedly casual style choices.
While the president and vice president Kamala Harris braved Washington's near-freezing weather, wearing a sharp Ralph Lauren suit and sleek purple coat and dress by Christopher John Rogers respectively, the senator bucked the day’s formal dress code in favour of a heavy parka.
But, what really lit up social media was the truly spectacular pair of oversized woolly mittens that hugged Sanders’s hands.
Pictures of the senator quickly made the rounds on social media, with Twitter users raving about the practicality of his look, while others said his choice of winter handwear was more “iconic” than the gargantuan red ballgown skirt worn by Lady Gaga for her performance of the US national anthem.
The image of him was also photoshopped into numerous famous scenarios, real and fictional, including the throne from Game of Thrones and the iconic photograph “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”.
At one point Sanders even addressed his choice of attire, telling CBS News: “In Vermont, we know something about the cold. And we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We just want to keep warm.”
So, where did he get those cosy mittens? The senator was actually gifted the mittens a couple of years ago from a small-town Vermont teacher named Jen Ellis, who made them herself using repurposed wool sweaters and fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
Though Ellis has never met Sanders, she said she decided to make him the mittens after he lost the bid for the Democratic nominations in 2016, because she felt “really heartbroken for him”.
Sanders also wore them while campaigning for president last year and they now even have their own Twitter account.
If you’re looking to snap up a pair for your own winter wardrobe, you can reach out to Ellis via email to purchase your own handmade pair.
But, in the likely event that she is overwhelmed with orders, or you just can’t wait, we’ve picked five similar styles to shop now.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Joules wilbury fair isle knitted mittens: £15.95, Joules
This fair isle style will make the perfect addition to your winter get-up, promising to keep your fingers toasty and well-insulated on frosty mornings.
Made from a thick wool mix, they’re also designed with turnback cuffs to keep heat locked in, and we love the contrast between the oatmeal, black and red motif. For a matching set, pair with the coordinating scarf (£26.95).
Dents women’s fair isle knitted mittens: £12.80, Dents
Get ready for the cold snap with some ultra-snug accessories like this pair of knitted mittens, which are made with a super-soft looking lining.
The hand-warmers feature a fair isle print that’s guaranteed to make that festive feeling last longer and, while we love the blue shade, you can also pick them up in black and pink.
Anna Wool Magic glacier mittens: £38.30, Etsy
Keep your hands warm and stylish this winter with this pair of handmade cosy mittens that are designed and manufactured in a small UK workshop. Each pair is hand-knitted by someone with decades of experience, with the brand promising that every garment is crafted to the highest quality possible.
Much like Bernie’s, these mittens feature a brown graphic pattern. They are made from merino wool – a material that is gentle on the skin, durable and designed to absorb large quantities of moisture vapour.
Blackyak patterned mittens: £16, Blackyak
The perfect accessory for when there's snow on the ground, these mittens are handmade from pure wool and lined with fleece, meaning they will be able to withstand the elements and keep your hands warm.
With a bold, graphic design, they’ll look great with all your coats and jackets, and while our favourite is this green pair, you can also buy them in pink and mixed jewel tones.
My Accessories london mittens in teddy and quilted nylon: £10, Asos
For a pair that’s guaranteed to deliver a unique look, pick up these brown mittens which are made with both padded quilting and a soft borg fabric panel.
The combination of materials means they will come in handy when the weather is especially biting, with the quilted design allowing for dexterity while the fleece will feel luxuriously soft next to your skin.
For more winter wardrobe inspiration, read our guide to the best men’s fleece jackets