When President Biden took the oath of office in the Capitol, he did so in the coldest temperatures of any inauguration in over a decade and the strongest winds in nearly 40 years. The President made a worthy figure in his matching Ralph Lauren suit and topcoat, but on the east portico sat another politician who seemed far better equipped for the cold conditions: Mr. Practicality himself, Senator Bernie Sanders.
Like the wool-dyed Vermonter that he is, Sanders defied the formal dress code of the day in favor of a heavy, rugged parka and a truly spectacular pair of large woolen gloves. It’s the mittens that have received the most attention and applause on Twitter, and rightly so: not only were they a fair turn off for a historic moment, but, as Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer pointed out, the story behind the mittens itself could impossible to be more Bernie-ish.
The senator received the mittens a few years ago from a small-town Vermont teacher named Jen Ellis, who made them herself from reused wool sweaters and fleece from recycled plastic bottles. It’s hard to imagine a piece of clothing that represents Bernie Sanders better than a recycled pair of knitted grandpa gloves given to him from the goodness of a school teacher’s heart.
If you want to add some of that Bernie magic to your winter wardrobe – and you should, since great mittens are both an underrated flex and far warmer than gloves (it’s science!) – you can reach out to Ellis via email to buy them your own handmade pair. Or in case Ellis is overwhelmed with orders today and you’re in a hurry to buy some hand warmers, we’ve dug up some more top-notch mitt options for you below.
Icewear “Dalsbrún” Icelandic wool gloves
Bruceriver snowflake knitted gloves
Fox River double gloves