A day after Bernie Sanders' viral 'grumpy chic' look for Inauguration Day became the talk of the town, the Vermont senator has spoken up about his much-memed outfit.
As is now internet legend, Sanders turned up at the swearing-in ceremony of the 46th United States President Joe Biden and 49th Vice President Kamala Harris wearing a brown jacket and hand-woven mittens.
After a photograph of the Vermont senator sitting bundled up in a lone chair on the stands of chilly Washington and watching the ceremony became a viral social media meme, Sanders defended his outfit by stating the simple reason - he was cold.
Appearing on the Late Night with Seth Meyers show, Sanders said, "I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on".
And that is a perfectly reasonable explanation. After all, Sanders is a 79-year-old man on the day of the inauguration, temperatures in Washington were as low as one degree.
Sanders' mittens, however, have not just been in news for the memes. Sanders has worn them before on several occasions including a women's march in January 2020. As has been previously noted by the media, the mittens were made by a local schoolteacher and gifted to Sanders.
Made out of repurposed sweaters and lined with fleece made of recycled plastic bottles, Bernie first sported them exactly a year ago at the Seacoast Women’s March in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Since they went viral after Sanders sported them on the Capitol, the creator - Jen Ellis - has been receiving a lot of attention. Sanders said as much on the show. "What was really nice, Seth, is the woman who made the mittens, she is a schoolteacher," he said, adding that she was a "very, very nice person"
"And she's been somewhat overwhelmed by the kind of attention that is being shown to her mittens," Sanders told Meyers.
The mittens have become a hit on social media and the image of Sanders hunched up in his chair has made it to all imaginable and unimaginable parts of the internet.