Here's Why You're Seeing So Much Purple On Inauguration Day

Today's historic inauguration contained many memorable moments and iconic visuals, from the ubiquity of face masks to the military presence — and right down to the more subtle shows of strength in the colors worn by some of the country's most powerful women. Kamala Harris wore a bright purple coat by designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson, along with a pearl necklace and earrings (via New York Post). The outfit would have been a statement on its own, but Harris wasn't the only one to arrive decked out in purple; Michele Obama and Hilary Clinton both made the shade the primary part of their inauguration look, and it wasn't by accident.

According to Vanity Fair, the color purple is a not-so-subtle call for bipartisanship from these women, representing the coming together of "red" and "blue" states in a country that feels more and more starkly divided along party lines. Bright purple may look slightly out of place in a setting where politicians (and their wives) often wear primarily red, white, and blue (also for symbolic reasons), but that is part of the point (via Vogue).

How Kamala Harris is making history through fashion

In addition to the clear call for bipartisanship and unity, the purple color of Harris' inauguration coat holds additional historic symbolism. According to CNN, it is also in honor of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to serve in the United States Congress. Her historic election in 1972 not only paved the way for Harris and others, but directly inspired the new Vice President's political career. Without Chisholm, we wouldn't have our first Black, and South Asian, and female vice president of the United States, making the inauguration look all the more significant. 

As the first female vice president, Kamala Harris is going to endure a different kind of scrutiny regarding her appearance by the media, especially when compared to her male predecessors. However, so far she is taking the attention in stride and not missing an opportunity to make a powerful statement with her fashion in addition to her words and policies. Think back to her iconic white suit she wore during her acceptance speech, which paid tribute to the women's suffrage movement. Hopefully, the next four years are full of more exciting fashion choices from this historic administration.