Color and Inaugural Fashions

Did you notice the colors our presidential families wore to the inauguration?  Among a sea of black wool coats, both men and women accessorized in bright, vivid colors.  And the most popular?

Yellow.  And that wasn’t an accident.  Michelle Obama’s yellow dress and jacket were the most highly-contrasting color she could choose to be visible next to her husband, dressed in a black coat.

Style blog Limelight declared yellow 2009’s signature color in their post, “Yellow is the New Black,” praising First Lady Obama’s choice of a yellow dress.

Bill Clinton wore a yellow scarf against his black coat.  Both George Bush. Sr. and Barbara Bush took yellow one step further and wore yellow turtlenecks with violet scarves.  Again, yellow and violet are complements that have high contrast, so their outfits guaranteed they would stand out in a crowd.

And if our government officials weren’t wearing yellow, they sported either bright blue or red scarves or ties.

You can see all these colors in action in NPR’s slideshow of the inauguration here.