By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday, inauguration attendees bundeled up to stay warm in the mostly cloudy, 42-degree weather, but no one appeared more prepared than Sen. Bernie Sanders.
His practical coat and handmade mittens went viral on social media almost instantaneously, in stark contrast to the high-fashion looks of Vice President Kamala Harris and former first Lady Michelle Obama.
Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain’t his whole day. pic.twitter.com/wCRyoxU3V2
— Reeezy (@MsReeezy) January 20, 2021
The mittens that made such a splash were handmade by Jen Ellis, a second grade teacher from Vermont, who gave the fleece-lined winter accessories to Sanders in 2016.
“I take wool sweaters that would otherwise be thrown away, cut them up, piece them together — and I line them with fleece,” Ellis told Good Morning America of the recycled materials.
Her eco-friendly wool mittens first made their debut with Sen. Sanders out on the campaign trail five years ago.
Ellis said, “I was just so flattered” when “something that I made in my craft room with the sewing machine my mom gave to me when I was 12 made it to the national stage.”
Since the viral meme exploded in popularity, Ellis has received 12,000 inquiries, and while she was honored to represent Vermont on Inauguration Day, she said more mittens are not for sale.
“There were my mittens — which were a statement too — a little shout out to Vermont, a shout out to ordinary people who get up every day and might have cold hands and put on a pair of mittens right, that’s who we are,” Ellis said.
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