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The Red and Blue and Purple Carpet

Obama wore a blue tie and Biden and Ryan both wore red. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Obama wore a blue tie and Biden and Ryan both wore red. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The best outfit pieces at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address were not visible from the cameras.  

“I’m wearing my Hillary necklace,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told HOH, holding up an “H” necklace over her gray sweater and jacket to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wore camouflage print low-heels, which she wore last year when she delivered the Republican response to the 2015 SOTU .  

And the winning outfit among men adorned Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who wore white snakeskin cowboy boots and an American flag tie.  

Grayson (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Grayson (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Purposely more visible, the audience at SOTU is traditionally sprinkled with brightly colored jackets and dresses for female attendees to stand out.  

“We wear things to be noticed,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said.  

First lady Michelle Obama led the charge this year, wearing a bright orange sleeveless dress. Sitting next to her, Dr. Jill Biden wore a bright pink dress.  

Purple was a popular color of choice, worn by Sens. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii; and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., among others.  

An array of red, as expected, was in the chamber, worn by female lawmakers including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; and Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif. And blue was notably worn by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.  

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., wore a red tie, after his Twitter followers voted for it . Sitting next to him, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. also wore a red and white striped tie while President Barack Obama wore a tie striped in two shades of blue.  

McCaskill (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
McCaskill (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Contact Gangitano at and follow her on Twitter at @alexgangitano.

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