First Lady Fashion
Feb 17, 2014 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
With Presidents Day upon us, we decided to honor our famed leaders by remembering three of our favorite first ladies. These women were trailblazers in their own right – intelligent, inspiring, and glamorous. Their first lady fashion continues to influence what we hope to find in our own closets. May you spend your day channeling their strength in all that you do and remember – great women change history!
Married at the tender age of 19, Iowa-born Mamie soon settled into life as an Army wife. Constantly supportive of her husband, she successfully raised a family as they zig-zagged across the country. All in all, they moved almost 30 times over the course of Dwight’s career. As First Lady, she was known for her warm hostess manner, love of fine clothes and jewelry, and pride in her family. Her inauguration gown is one of the popular highlights at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
She was fiercely private and protective of her personal affairs and knew how to stretch a dollar. Mamie was notorious for coupon clipping and shopping the sales. That skill helped out in the kitchen as well, where she was famous for putting together great meals. Her recipes were enjoyed by many an American housewife who, like the First Lady, appreciated a little extra jingle of coins in their pockets!
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
The future First Lady stepped into the public eye and captured hearts with her wedding gown by Ann Lowe. From that moment on, she never stopped being a fashion trendsetter.
An active young lady, she loved art, horseback riding, and travel. A fun read is the illustrated book, One Special Summer, she made with her sister capturing their 1951 European tour. Following this trip she completed her college education and went to work for the Washington Times-Herald. Shortly thereafter Jacqueline was introduced to the dashing Senator Jack Kennedy and the rest, as they say, is history.
As First Lady, she was devoted to social planning and hosted a mix of guests that was previously unheard of at the White House. She was known for making each person feel at ease and that made her very popular with foreign dignitaries. Perhaps her biggest contribution was the historically-accurate restoration of the White House. Jacqueline’s determination to revive a sense of history and honor created a legacy we can all be proud of.
Lady Bird Johnson
A powerhouse with a stunning smile, Lady Bird Johnson accomplished some incredible things during her lifetime. She was an amazing student and her academic discipline carried her far – receiving degrees in Art and Journalism. But her talents also ventured into the financial and business realm. Upon meeting and marrying Lyndon B. Johnson, she used her skill to bankroll his entire congressional campaign! During his time in the Navy, Lady Bird transitioned into the role and ran his office.
After his public office was secure, she went on to invest in a television and radio station. Her business acumen carried over into her role as First Lady. She interacted directly with Congress, had her own press secretary, and campaigned for her husband on her own. During her time at the White House she is best known for her Highway Beautification Act. The flowers and plant life we enjoy as we peer into our urban surroundings are largely due to her efforts.
On this Presidents Day as we reflect upon what makes a great leader, we encourage you to consider the amazing strength, unique talents, and captivating charm of these three women. Please tell us about the special women in your life that influence and inspire you!