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  • Penelope Kraus

State of the union vs. Grammy outfits: Who wore it better?

Every year, the President of the United States gives the State of the Union Address, delivering a formal message to Congress regarding conditions within the country. This year, Joe Biden discussed issues ranging from the low unemployment rate to plans for increasing taxation on the wealthy to America’s need for police reform. While these are serious issues and ones requiring a spotlight, there were some extraordinary distractions at this formal government event.

These distractions are the outfits that some people in Congress made the bold decision to wear (some bolder than others). Some of these outfits gave a taste of another popular annual event, one (sadly) far more impactful to the average American citizen: the Grammys. It’s unfortunate that a music award ceremony and a highly regarded government event have anything in common, but it seems musicians and figures of government share a love for bright colors and somewhat outrageous outfits (along with an unyielding need for attention and pettiness, but that won’t be covered in this article).

Anyone who watched the State of the Union or read/watched recaps of the assembly knows that Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona sported the most outrageous outfit. The senator showed up in a lemon-yellow dress with flared ruffled sleeves. While there was nothing necessarily “wrong” with the dress, the mix of the sleeves (or lack thereof) with the blinding yellow made it somewhat of a questionable fashion choice, which isn’t out of the ordinary for Senator Sinema, as she has been seen with some other interesting outfits.

Sinema’s dress may have been better suited for another occasion. However bright the color may have been, singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini seems to have taken a similar liking to the color at the Grammys, which might make a little more sense for the event. The singer, who is known for songs like “Peter Pan” and “Miss Me More,” showed up to the event in a floor-length dress with matching colored high-heels. While the styles of the dresses are not comparable, you could assume that Senator Sinema may have picked a similar dress if she got the chance to attend the Grammys, as she has been seen in this color before.

Another outfit that caught the internet’s attention is Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia. The internet not only made fun of her outfit, which reminded many of the Disney character Cruella de Vil. Most focused on the fur portion of Taylor’s outfit

On the other hand, singer Kacey Musgraves boasted a Cruella de Vil-like feather cape at the Grammys. If Representative Greene showed up decked out in pink like Musgraves did, this would be a different conversation. However, the choice to have a coat or cape that has feathers or fur like the evil Disney character did is asking for internet commentary. While this connection may be a stretch, a more direct link to the Grammy’s is singer-songwriter Hillary Scott's all-white somewhat conservative dress. If we are being completely honest, with some slight changes, Scott may have been better dressed for the State of the Union than Greene was.

One last comparison is between Vice President Kamala Harris and singer-songwriter Adele. Both women wore a maroonish raspberry-colored outfit. Adele wore a dress with ruffled sleeves like Senator Sinema while Vice President Harris wore a suit as she normally does. While Kamala Harris’ suit did stand out, it was not unsuited for this “professional and formal” event. It is also hard to find something wrong with an outfit when it is a similar color to that of one of Adele’s because well…it's Adele.

Some government figures have made questionable fashion decisions, but one thing that is certain is that dressing similarly to a cartoon character or dressing in neon colors is not appropriate for every event, especially not this one. The media also seems confused, as non-satirical journalists reported on the outfits at the State of the Union as they would for the Grammys. Perhaps reporters should focus on other admittedly less pressing topics such as the future of the country.


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