The United States’ Fashionable First Ladies

After weeks of controversies about which designer would dress the new First Lady, Melania Trump presented herself in a pale blue cashmere Ralph Lauren dress for her husband’s inauguration.

The press agrees that she channeled her inner Jackie Kennedy with that outfit choice – a smart move. The fact that Trump uses Kennedy as a reference proves that wardrobes of her predecessors still have an impact on today’s fashions. Therefore, we listed the most memorable and iconic First Ladies and their signature styles.

Melania Trump follows the footsteps of one of the White House’s greatest style icons: Michelle Obama. As we dedicated a whole post to Mrs. Obama’s most stunning gowns recently, let’s dig a little deeper in the archives.


Jacqueline Kennedy (First Lady: 1961–1963)

As already mentioned above, Jackie Kennedy still serves as an inspiration for today’s designers. She mastered official events with dress codes and taught us how to style basics. Mrs. Kennedy often pimped classic suits with what became her signature style elements: white gloves and a pillbox hat.

We are especially excited to see the movie ‘Jackie‘ in cinema soon. Let us know which of her signature styles you can discover in the movie!

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Lady Bird Johnson (First Lady: 1963–1969)

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife was known for her casual yet detail-focused style. Her faible for Texas inspired styles were also reflected in her outfit choice, for instance in her preference for ranger hats. Mrs. Johnson was not as celebrated by the fashion industry as Jackie Kennedy, however, she seized beauty from a different angle than her predecessors.

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Betty Ford (First Lady: 1974–1977)

Tailored blazers with contrasting piping and colorful, delicate scarves were Betty Ford’s trademarks. As she had worked in the fashion industry, Ford was well-placed and followed up with the latest fashions as part of her profession.

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Nancy Reagan (First Lady: 1981–1989)

Nancy Reagan is famous for her lavish and formal looks. Her favourite hue, a bold red, was later named the ’Reagan Red’ and became her trademark colour. For one of her first public appearances as the new first lady she decided for a style that became typical for her: for the inauguration ball she wore an elegant white hand-beaded gown with a fashion-forward twist, namely a one shoulder strap.

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All those ladies left their marks beyond the political culture. Their examples show that style truly is eternal. Melania Trump surely follows big footsteps, but we will follow (…and judge!) her fashionable journey during the next four years.

By Vivien Gilow

Images via Popsugar, InStyle,, Fashionista, Goodhousekeeping.

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