When former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrived at the presidential inauguration Wednesday morning, his hands looked particularly cozy, thanks to one Vermont native.
Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt., whipped up Sanders’ brown mittens two years ago, and the senator put them to use during his adventures on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, according to Buzzfeed reporter Ruby Cramer. The mittens, knitted in gray and dark brown, presumably kept the longtime Vermont senator warm at the masked outdoor swearing-in ceremony. (Fun fact: the accessory also has its own Twitter account, @berniesmittens.)
Ellis “was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail,” Cramer wrote in a tweet. “They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.”
Ellis first knit the oversized “oven gloves” for staff at her daughter’s daycare, including Sanders’ daughter-in-law, Liza Driscoll, according to a January 2020 story in Vermont’s Seven Days. As a bonus, she made a pair for Bernie.
Bernie’s mittens are made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vt. She gave them to him 2+ years ago and was surprised when he began wearing them on the campaign trail. They are made from repurposed wool sweaters and lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. pic.twitter.com/ErLr29lY2t— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) January 20, 2021
Early last year, the comfortable accessory quickly became a noticeable fashion choice on the trail for a senator who usually keeps his look low-key.
Some Twitter users also speculated Sanders’s inauguration look included the same coat he sports in a popular meme format.
Photos and memes celebrating Sanders’ fashion statement continued to circulate social media throughout the day, lauding the Vermont Senator’s expression and casual demeanor.
Many took it upon themselves to edit one especially popular image of Sanders into various backgrounds.
Brittany Bowker contributed to this report.