Gear | January 22, 2021 12:05 pm

The Fascinating History of Bernie’s Famous Burton Coat

Now you, too, can dress like a 79-year-old senator from Vermont

The Fascinating History of Bernie’s Famous Burton Coat
Burton

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a QAnon support group for the past 48 hours, you’re aware of the “Bernie in a chair” meme.

Is it a little weird that the most iconic image from a day filled with historic firsts and inspirational moments has become a grumpy old man sitting alone in a coat and mittens? Yes, it is. But it’s been a weird year, and, you know, internet gonna internet.

The phenomenon appears to have begun with NYC photographer Nicolas Heller (aka @newyorknico), who, after the inauguration, quickly posted a carousel of Bernie pics on his Instagram depicting the Vermont senator selling hot dogs, enjoying the company of pigeons in the park, and riding the subway. And then we were, as they say, off to the races — as of this writing, The Bern has been spotted sitting front row with Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week, with The Ramones outside of CBGB, on the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and in that rowboat with a blindfolded Sandra Bullock in Birdbox. An attempt on the part of your correspondent to catalogue all the Bernie memes for posterity soon proved overwhelming — I was like Mickey Mouse trying to keep up with those brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Talk soon turned to the elements of Bernie’s ensemble, and with the Mystery of the Mittens sorted out in short order (they were made by Vermont teacher Jen Ellis, and she is very sold out), interest moved on to the coat, notable for the fact that it was the very same coat from Bernie’s previous “I am once again asking…” memeification. The internet was delighted to find that rather than some fancy-pants menswear designer, Senator Sanders’ outerwear of choice comes from the snowboard company Burton. On its face, this makes sense — Sanders is from Vermont, Burton is a Vermont company, my dude rides for his home state. Word.

However, it came to pass that there was a familial element at play as well, as the coat was a gift to Sanders from Dave Driscoll (son of Jane O’Meara Sanders, Bernie’s wife) who used to work at Burton before leaving to found policy nonprofit The Sanders Institute. Driscoll’s friend, a former Burton team rider, had made a coat with Bernie’s picture on the back that eventually led to a 2018 capsule collection with proceeds going to the Sanders Institute. 

Burton

Sanders apparently liked the coat so much that Driscoll wound up giving him one for Christmas, albeit one without his own face on the back (I, for one, would stan the fuck out of Bernie rocking a coat with his own face on the back, but was not consulted at the time). The coat, Burton’s GORE-TEX Edgecomb Down 3-in-1 Jacket, is naturally completely sold out, although if you’re a large, someone on eBay is selling a used one for two grand that allegedly comes with free universal healthcare, a raised minimum wage, and a solution to global warming.

However, it does bear noting that Burton has several other Edgecombe styles on offer, many of which are unfortunately also sold the fuck out, but all of which would keep you plenty warm and toasty whether you’re up on the slopes, out on the town, or sitting quietly by yourself at a presidential inauguration.

Burton

Men’s Burton Edgecomb Jacket

Burton

Men’s Burton GORE-TEX Edgecomb Jacket

Burton

Men’s Burton GORE‑TEX Edgecomb Insulator Jacket