On this very special day, the clothes are certainly more than just garments - they are an instant part of our social history. In 2009, Mrs. O wore an Isabel Toledo ensemble in a sunny lemongrass color that signaled newfound optimism. In 2012, the first lady's choice is symbolic in a different sense. Designed by Thom Browne, the 2012 recipient of the National Design Award in Fashion Design, this choice seems to honor the craft and artistry of fashion as a whole.
Per the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: "Thom Browne’s meticulous aesthetic is rooted in an American sensibility evocative of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Browne opened his doors in the fall of 2001, offering bespoke tailored clothing; he introduced ready-to-wear menswear in 2004 and womenswear in 2010."
From a White House official via the pool report: "The First Lady is wearing a navy Thom Browne coat and dress. The fabric was developed based on the style of man's silk tie. The belt and gloves she is wearing are from J.Crew and her earrings are designed by Cathy Waterman. She is also wearing Reed Krakoff boots. At the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives."
Update: Dr. Biden wears a Lela Rose silk bow coat per Eric Wilson of the New York Times.