First Ladies Demonstrate their Unique Style in Fashionable Outerwear

The United States has had some remarkable First Ladies. Whether you agree with their personal beliefs or policies is irrelevant when it comes to fashion. And it is indisputable, each First Lady has a unique sense of style and signature looks. After all, we pay close attention to their favorite designers and outfits. That said; wearing a beautiful garment and dressing well is easier than governing the country. Fashion Reverie has curated some favorite First Lady outerwear looks and some colder weather choices that we love!

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Jackie Kennedy was a style icon even before her First Lady title. She inspired trends every time she stepped out in a new monochromatic set, wearing oversized sunglasses or in her signature Halston pillbox hats! From the moment the Jackie Kennedy arrived at the White House for John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration in a wool Oleg Cassini coat and famous Halston hat, her style had a lasting impact!

Later on that Inauguration Day, the First Lady changed into an off-white silk chiffon evening gown for the Inaugural Ball, wearing an opulent cape  over the chiffon gown, which was designed by Ethel Frankau of Bergdorf Custom Salon, based on sketches and suggestions from the First Lady herself.

French-born designer Oleg Cassini was hired to create an original wardrobe for Jackie Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. He dressed her in many of her signature looks, and the peach A-line dress with matching coat was one of her most memorable looks!!

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Nancy Reagan was the influential and stylish wife of the 40th president of the United States, who made the almost improbable climb from Hollywood, to the California governorship, to the presidency of the United States! Nancy always put her husband first; but became a political figure in her own right.

She always looked on point and very often wore red. Red represents power; very fitting for a strong First Lady like Nancy Reagan.  Designers who dressed Reagan included Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Adolfo, Carolina Herrera, James Galanos, and Arnold Scassi.  Nancy Reagan wore simple, elegant designs, sometimes embracing large, padded shoulders. Fashion Reverie picked three different favorite red outerwear looks.

Nancy Reagan wore a classic look and looked very poised in a red Adolfo suit for a royal with Princess Diana in 1985. Fashion Reverie found a look from 1975 before Nancy was First Lady when she looked glorious in a red Galanos suit.

Nancy Reagan’s  love for red became synonymous with Adolfo, a Cuban-born American fashion designer who was one of Reagan’s closest fashion collaborators. Nancy Reagan’s coat and dress for her husband’s first inauguration ceremony in 1981 were by Adolfo.

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First Lady Michelle Obama was special in many ways. She came across as very approachable and she was the first African American First Lady. She had her own style, liked color blocking, and played with textures and beading. She also had a new approach to power dressing.

Mrs. Obama’s time at the White House has been well documented on social media, as well as the mainstream media; so, everything was commented on, noticed or criticized. For the historic inauguration, Michelle Obama chose a lime green dress and matching coat by the late Isabel Toledo, with green gloves by J.Crew. This is where Fashion Reverie noticed Michelle Obama’s modern take of fashion, mixing high-end garments with affordable ones.

Princeton and Harvard educated; Michelle Obama was a symbol of change. For the inaugural parade in 2013, Mrs. Obama wore a Thom Browne tailored coat and dress.  One extra look Fashion Reverie selected was the apricot brocade coat with matching dress by Isaac Mizrahi. We love the hair pulled up, so we can see her wonderful smile!!  

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Melania Trump. Quite controversial, fashionable and the first president’s wife whose native tongue isn’t English.

For the inauguration, many compared Melania’s wardrobe to Jacqueline Kennedy’s style. She closely works with her stylist, preferring “strongly tailored pieces.” Melania prefers strong colors and wears almost exclusively high-end designers. The inaugural outfit was by Ralph Lauren, a blue cashmere ensemble with ’60s silhouette.

Another memorable look was a mustard cape from Valentino fall 2019 collection that the First Lady wore for a tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with matching fuchsia sleeves and matching pointed-toe stiletto heels.

The third outerwear look Fashion Reverie chose is a controversial pair of designers for a controversial First Lady!  Melania wore a floral Dolce & Gabbana coat to the G7 meeting in Sicily. The $51,000 silk coat featured an all-over 3D, technicolor floral embellishment which she paired with a cream-colored brocade cocktail dress, nude stilettos, and a matching floral clutch!  

Since the 2020 election is two weeks away, in January will we see another fabulous First Lady’s inaugural outfit. Will it be Melania Trump or Dr. Jill Biden?

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Just in case, Fashion Reverie picked a favorite outerwear look of Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, that might give us an idea on what to expect. At the Obama inauguration in 2013, Jill Biden showed her sense of style in a shimmering silk and wool coat with a large neckline bow by Lela Rose. Underneath she wore a dress by the same designer.

Tijana Ibrahimovic

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