Well, we got a new president yesterday. I know that he is a president that people either see as the second coming or believe to be Satan himself. I happen to be in the minority of people, that don’t know what to think. What he said during the campaign upset me on a personal level but I don’t believe that just because he is President that the world is going to end. I watched yesterday’s inauguration with mixed emotions and sit here holding my breath waiting to see what is about to happen. I believe that every new President is due respect and a chance. Therefore, I will save my deep thoughts for a later day and talk about something on a much much lighter topic, fashion!
I’ve always believed that First Lady fashion has been crucial to successful inaugurations, state dinners, and foreign trips. It gives us something to obsess over during the boring pomp and circumstance. Lucky for us we have had some pretty fashionable First Ladies. Take these five ladies.
- Pat Nixon
Pat Nixon makes this list for one reason; she was the first First Lady to wear pants in a public forum! That is a big deal! Of course women had been wearing pants for years but never formally. It was 1972 and women were finally making a move into the corporate world but there was still a debate about whether it was appropriate for women to wear pants to work. Pat Nixon answered that question in a very public way and since I’m a pants wearer I’d like to say “Thank You”. That is not say Pat Nixon didn’t dress fabulously when not wearing pants because she definitely did. So for her undeniable contribution to women’s fashion…Mrs. Nixon is number 5.
- Frances Cleveland
Frances Cleveland is the youngest First Lady we have ever had. She was only 21 when she married the president. She married in the White House and became an instant celebrity. The public was dying to know everything about her and that included what she was wearing. She held two receptions a week at the White House and became the first First Lady to really contribute to popular culture. Her face was even used for advertising. In some sense, Mrs. Cleveland was the first modern First Lady.
- Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama established herself as a force of fashion on inauguration night 2009. Her Jason Wu white gown was beyond stunning. Now I’ll admit she was prone to the occasional mistake. I found her second inauguration dress in 2013 to be just a little too causal for the event. But those moments were far and few between. For the past eight years, Mrs. Obama showed the world that it is always important to be the best-dressed women in the room.
- Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan was a product of Hollywood and Hollywood followed her to Washington in the 1980s. She was determined to make Washington glamorous once again and that she did. She wore so many designer clothes that the press began to criticize her for spending that much money while the country was in the mist of a recession. She heard them but fortunately for us she didn’t listen. What would the 80’s have been like without a little splash of Reagan red?
- Jackie Kennedy
There was only one First Lady that could have possibly topped this list and if you disagree, I just don’t think we can be friends. Jackie Kennedy is fashion. Mrs. Kennedy was the third youngest First Lady in history. She was just 31 when she moved into the White House. Following a series of older First Ladies, Jackie brought much needed youth and glamour to Washington. For 1000 days, she created her own Court and forever left us with visions of Camelot. Her fashion legacy is still felt today from Chanel suits, pillbox hats, white gloves, and pearls.
Where does Melania stand?
Well if last night is any indication of how the next 4 years will go, I’m afraid I will have to rewrite this list. Jackie, of course, will still be number one. I’m very optimistic that Melania will be very good to First Lady fashion.
Special shout out to Ivanka Trump! She shut it down yesterday. She joins the exclusive list of fashionable First Daughters that includes Sasha and Malia Obama, Tricia Nixon, and the original Presidential Princess herself Alice Roosevelt