Jill Biden's Dress at the 2022 State of the Union included a small sunflower on her sleeve, a sign o...

This Hidden Detail On Jill Biden’s State Of The Union Outfit Was So Significant

Blink and you’d miss it.

by Daffany Chan and Lilli Petersen
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President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union address on March 1, 2022, came amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, changing pandemic guidance, and an attempt to resurrect a long-stalled Build Back Better climate and economic package. While the president prepared to navigate his hefty talking points, first lady Jill Biden was there to support her husband — and she also sent a message with her look of the night. Jill Biden’s outfit at the 2022 State of the Union made a quiet political point with this detail, which was all the more poignant for its subtlety.

For the 2022 State of the Union on Tuesday, Biden opted for a slinky, minimalist dress in royal blue with a high collar and long sleeves. She paired the look with a single, delicate necklace. The outfit was in line with her usual fashion style for political events, which features plenty of monochromatic colors, chic blazers, and decorative florals.

But there was one floral that stood out on the otherwise simple outfit on Tuesday evening — on Biden’s right wrist, a small, embroidered sunflower stood out against the blue fabric. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and amid the Russian invasion of the country, has emerged as an international symbol of solidarity with the embattled nation under assault.

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On Feb. 24, Russia launched an invasion into its neighbor, Ukraine, which has been widely condemned by the international community as an unwarranted war of aggression. In the week since, hundreds of Ukrainian civilians have been reported killed, including dozens of children. However, Ukrainian resistance has been stiff, holding off Russian attacks despite Russia’s larger and better-equipped forces. Meanwhile, the international community has imposed harsh sanctions on Russia, largely cutting it off from the global community as a consequence.

Biden is no stranger to making headlines for her best ‘fits, although usually not with such a heartbreaking reason behind it. During President Biden’s first address as president in April 2021, the first lady donned a black Gabriela Hearst sheath dress with a sheer neckline and sleeves — it also featured colorful floral embroidery on the sheer parts of the dress. Biden’s mask even had florals embroidered on the side. It was seemingly a black version of the white outfit she wore the night of the inauguration on Jan. 20, which was meant to convey unity.

It’s widely known that first lady fashion almost always carries a political message. But I’m not sure if so much weight has ever been carried by one little piece of embroidery.