Will Jill Biden's inauguration outfit outshine Melania's blue dress? Incoming FLOTUS keeps everyone guessing
In the past, while some incoming FLOTUS has tried to shine a spotlight on a new, young designer, others have proudly donned inauguration gowns made by American designers
Typically, what a future first lady chooses to wear on her husband's inauguration day becomes a talking point for the world. But since President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration is taking place amid a pandemic and mere days from an insurrection incited by the outgoing lame-duck president, what Jill Biden wears might seem inconsequential. But it is significant in the values that she might attempt to project through her choice of outfit.
In the past, while some incoming FLOTUS has tried to shine a spotlight on a new, young designer, others have proudly donned inauguration gowns made by American designers. There were also those rooted first ladies who had simply chosen to wear something off-the-rack from some departmental store. Others have chosen to highlight the symbol of hope, or wealth of the country when they opted for a high fashion, over-budget outfit.
It all comes down to the values that the wife of the president wants to convey through her outfit, which takes into consideration the state of the nation at any given point in time and the kind of ideals advocated by her spouse's incoming administration. Since parades will be socially-distanced this time and people have been told to stay home to enjoy a virtual inauguration event and the usually-glittering evening ball following the swearing-in ceremony will not be the same, it will not be surprising if Jill decides not to opt for something flashy in the light of current events. However, something very muted might also send the wrong signal to the followers of her husband as it can be seen as not uplifting enough in a time of division and struggle in America. As a result, the balancing act is something that Jill Biden has to nail.
According to the Telegraph, "Biden could choose to nod to her husband’s climate change U-turn for America, by wearing a dress from an eco-label. She might wear an outfit by a designer actively involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, or choose to support women designers in the business. She might go subliminal, or literal - like when she wore boots emblazoned with the word VOTE on the campaign trail."
Whatever she chooses to wear will ultimately be put on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, alongside some of the iconic dresses worn by first ladies over the years like Lady Bird Johnson’s canary yellow dress in 1965 and Michelle Obama’s white chiffon look in 2009.
Jill's outfit is sure to differ quite a bit from Melania Trump's inauguration event outfit from back in 2017 when President Donald Trump was sworn in. At the time she picked a baby blue dress and matching bolero by Ralph Lauren which was especially notable considering some designers, including Marc Jacobs and Sophie Theallet, publicly opposed dressing Melania as a result of Trump's behavior and beliefs.
"The Presidential Inauguration is a time for the United States to look our best to the world," a corporate spokesperson from Ralph Lauren told Glamour. "It was important to us to uphold and celebrate the tradition of creating iconic American style for this moment."
Jill can also opt for a Ralph Lauren dress or designers like Christian Siriano, who also dressed Michelle Obama and has championed size-inclusivity and racial equality through his work; or Gabriela Hearst, who designed a three-year-old fringed cocktail dress for Jill during the first 2020 presidential debate; or someone like Tory Burch, who has made a couple of chic day dresses for Michelle Obama during her tenure. There are, of course, an array of other designers she might consider for her outfit.