Senator Bernie Sanders Reigns Supreme As Inauguration Day Fashion Icon, Everyone's Dad

Ahh, the 2021 Presidential inauguration, a day full of excitement, hope, and of course, exemplary fashion, including JLo's chic all-white, sequined Chanel get-up ...

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... Lady Gaga's patriotic gown ...

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... and of course, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, and former First Lady, Michelle Obama's monochrome jewel-tone 'fits ...

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... which may or may not have taken inspiration from the beloved Disney Channel boy band, The Jonas Brothers.

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Even more so than these iconic ladies, one fashionista absolutely slayed the day, sporting an understated, yet head-turning ensemble, that singlehandedly dominated the national conversation, Wednesday and Thursday's headlines, and of course, our social feeds -- none other than Senator Bernie Sanders. Rocking a beige parka, neutral knit mittens, a blue surgical mask, and oh, yeah, a stack of mail, Sanders went full casual dadcore with his celebratory look, illustrating that comfort, and coziness, are the key tenets of successful winter style, and adding a much-needed reality check to the day's fanfare. 

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While the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris may be a truly monumental occurrence in our nation's history, marking the end of Donald Trump's reign of terror, and for some, the dawn of a new American era defined by hope,  it's also just a Wednesday. Inauguration day is still a workday, and Sanders, a man of the people, has things to do, places to be, and people to see... probably over zoom. As comedian Marie Faustin put it in her viral tweet, "Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain't his whole day."

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Soon after, Sander's gloriously casual get-up, as well as a subsequent photo of the Vermont offical sitting in a folding chair, looking both cozy and seemingly ready to get on with the rest of his day, went viral, sparking several fan edits of locales in which the Senator would also fit in, appearing in classic works of art ...

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... standing in for Constance Wu in Hustlers, cuddled up in JLo's coat ...

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... Winning last October's Vice Presidential debate ...

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... Visiting George's parents, Frank and Estelle Costanza ...

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... Chillin' next to the Utah monolith ...

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... commuting to work on the New York City subway ...

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... Sitting beside 90's Swiss childrens television icon, Pingu ...

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... and most aptly, hanging out in the galactic place of Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan, pondering all of his deepest existential quandaries. 

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Aside from adding a much-needed dose of humor to such a momentous occasion, Sander's memes resnoate from a cultural perspective, bringing joy to several Jewish Americans and other members of marginalized groups after the antimesetic sentiments displayed during this month's attack on our nation's Capitol and over the past four years, as Hey Alma writer, Emily Burack, noted in her essay, "The Cathartic Joy of Bernie Sanders Memes." Amid the viral posts, several Twitter users saw their loved ones in Bernie's cranky and comfy disposition, taking to the social platform to share these uncanny resemblances. 

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"Bernie is your uncle who walks into your graduation dinner, hands you a check he just ripped out of his checkbook, no card, and asks the waiter where the nearest UPS Dropbox is because he needs to return something while he’s out," wrote @oureric

 
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"I love all these memes of Bernie cuz they all are about how he’s just a kind old Jewish grandpa who does his job," added user @EmmaWallie.

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"I am honestly so obsessed with the Bernie memes because my dad is right on the verge of having that exact same grumpy jewish grandpa energy, including the big comfy mittens," quipped @duskrey.

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Girl, same. When I look at Bernie, bundled-up and ready to complete the next task on his busy agenda, it's almost like looking at an image of my own dad, who is notably not grumpy, as he pointed out upon reading this. Over the course of my life, I've seen my father begrudgingly attend semi-formal events, like weddings, funerals, and holiday gatherings decked out in a crew neck sweatshirt, a stack of mail he picked up en-route to the function du jour perhaps not in hand, but sitting on the front seat of his car, an always amusing and quintessentially Howard move. And apparent from the influx of stories like these from Americans everywhere, I know I'm not alone. In a year defined by distance from family in the midst of a pandemic, the introduction of a wholesome meme that reminds many people, myself included, of their loved ones is a welcome rarity, and a great way to to kick off this new administration. 

So Senator Sanders, if you ever read this, thank you for blessing our social feeds with your spectacularly normcore outfit. If you ever decide to retire from politics, please consider becoming a personal stylist -- I need your fashion tips, ASAP. 

For more internet nonsense, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ and on Twitter @TennesAnyone