On Thursday, Donald Trump and Joe Biden took the debate stage once again, at Belmont University in Nashville. As was expected, for the occasion, Trump wore a red tie and Biden wore a blue one. Their families weren’t quite so predictable in the sartorial department. The women of the Trump family showed up wearing almost head-to-toe black as if the debate was, I don’t know, a funeral? In contrast, Dr. Jill Biden appeared dressed for a fresh start, in a knee-length light blue cocktail dress covered in blooming florals.
Dr. Biden’s debate dress, by Dolce & Gabbana, featured a square neck and elbow-length sleeves, and was paired with nude, pointed-toe Jimmy Choo heels. (Her dress is still available to shop at Net-A-Porter, while her heels are currently 40% off at Matches Fashion, if post-debate, you’re in need of some retail therapy.) As for jewelry, Dr. Biden juxtaposed pearls with beaded friendship bracelets.
In a move lauded on Twitter, Dr. Biden wore a face mask made out of the same fabric as her dress. “Thinking about Jill Biden matching her mask to her dress, and I hope that coordinating queen has a great day,” Emily Brautigam tweeted. Another, who goes by the username @FoghornH, wrote: “Dr. Biden, I just thought you should know my 4-year-old daughter gasped when she saw your awesome outfit last night! She absolutely loved how your mask matched your dress. I can’t wait to have a First Lady my daughter can look up to again.” (Melania also wore a matching mask but, given the all-black color scheme, it had a somber effect.)
Even better than the matching dress and face mask, though, was the jovial pattern. Typically, candidates’ wives dress for the debate in monochrome ensembles that rarely stand out. Of course, there was Mrs. Trump’s 2016 Gucci pussy bow blouse, which caused quite the stir following the infamous Access Hollywood tape, at the second presidential debate. Still, even then, she paired the shirt with matching pink trousers. Rarely does the First Lady or the potential next First Lady stray from the tonal uniform, making Dr. Biden’s vibrant floral print look especially welcome on the debate stage. (For the first presidential debate, Dr. Biden wore a green, satin dress by NY-based sustainable designer Gabriela Hearst.)
While this is speculation, there is something to be said about Dr. Biden wearing a floral-print dress. According to Pro Flowers, the pink rose, which is prominently featured on the dress, is a symbol of “grace and elegance” that is often used as a token of “admiration and appreciation,” which she embodied post-debate when walking on stage and congratulating her husband with a warm hug and a kiss. (Social media was quick to point out that, during the embrace, the President and the First Lady stood next to each other in the chilliest of manners.) There’s also the White House rose garden, whose blooming flowers, to the disappointment of many, were ripped out in favor of a less lively design by the current First Lady. While the hope is that Dr. Biden will restore the garden to its former glory for now people can bask in the beauty of her floral dress.