Jill Biden's Inauguration Evening Dress Featured a Subtle Message of Unity

The first lady's look included an important embroidery detail.

Dr. Jill Biden sent a message of unity just hours after becoming the first lady. Though the traditional inauguration ball did not happen this year due to COVID-19, Dr. Biden and her husband, President Joe Biden, still dressed to the nines on the evening of his swearing in for the televised special, Celebrating America.

The first lady opted for an ivory double-breasted cashmere coat, a coordinating silk wool dress, and matching leather gloves by designer Gabriela Hearst for the evening event. The dress itself sent a message to the country, as it featured embroidery reflecting the federal flowers from every state and territory of the United States of America.

During the special, the first lady was seen in the coat while watching one performance in the White House with her family. The Bidens also posed together at the Lincoln Memorial, where the newly-appointed president spoke as part of the special.


Hearst shared photos of the making of Dr. Biden's look on Instagram, as well as more detail about the message of the ensemble.

"The message of unity is the main inspiration for the creation of the ensemble. Unity makes strength and it is needed for the road ahead," the designer wrote. "...The Delaware flower is positioned at the heart level of the first lady, from there, all the other flowers branch out."

Each flower, Hearst revealed, took "approximately two to four hours to embroider," during the dress and coat's creation in New York City.

"Careful placements and color selections were carefully studied for weeks," Hearst added of the flowers. 

Additionally, Hearst shared a quote that is embroidered inside the coat to represent Dr. Biden's 'lifelong calling and service" as an educator.

"'Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,'" the Benjamin Franklin quote reads. 

Before donning her ivory look, Dr. Biden wore an ocean blue outfit by Markarian, which was founded by Alexandra O'Neill, for the inauguration itself. 

The A-line overcoat featured dark blue velvet collar and cuffs, while the matching tapered dress included a chiffon bodice, scalloped skirt hem and hand-embellished Swarovski crystal neckline. Dr. Biden accessorized the look with a matching face mask, gloves and Jimmy Choo pointed-toe pumps.

"The color blue was chosen for the pieces to signify trust, confidence, and stability," the brand said in a press release. "The look was carefully crafted by a small team in the heart of New York City’s Garment Center and hand finished by O'Neill in her West Village studio. Alexandra is incredibly humbled to be a small part of such a historic moment."