State of the Union: When fashion is as loud — or muted — as the House chambers - Washington Post (blog)

The House chamber certainly isn’t a catwalk, but the fashion statements made there during Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address had a little something to say. Maybe not as much as President Obama‘s address did, but they did carry meaning.

Michelle Obama‘s dark-green silk dress — ringed in wide tonal stripes and topped with a bolero-type jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves — might communicate that she was cold in the chamber. In previous years, the first lady has worn arm-baring dresses.

As for the second lady: Jill Biden wore a sleeveless, bright-purple sheath accessorized with a lilac pashmina that partly hid a left-arm cast and sling.

And those bright blazers and suits that many women in the official audience wore? They shouted: “Look at me!” (Saturated colors look great on TV, after all.) There was plenty of traditional red, plus a few canary yellow or orange outfits, including that of Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) who sported a safety-orange leather jacket and red tights. Plus, her tights matched her dark hair’s bold, cherry-red highlight. Also in safety- orange: Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzer.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known to liven up her black robes with bold jewelry, wore a wide, beaded neck piece.

Among the men, dark suits were the uniform, save Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who went casual-professor in a brown corduroy jacket over a wool sweater.

President Obama sported a dark suit and a blue tie that apparently was a part of his last-minute preparations at the White House before heading over to the Capitol, according to a photo Instagrammed by White House photographer Pete Souza. What to make of the choice to go with a cravat that’s the color associated with Democrats? Maybe it just looks nice on camera. But perhaps it marks a shift toward partisanship: Obama has chosen a red (as in GOP) tie for three of his past five State of the Union speeches.


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