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How Jackie Kennedy's style influenced future First Ladies

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As Natalie Portman plays JFK's iconic wife in the highly anticipated film Jackie, we look at the famous First Lady's influence on White House fashion for decades to come - from Betty Ford to Melania Trump...


Betty Ford

An outspoken feminist during her tenure as First Lady in the ’70s, Betty had a White House wardrobe that reflected modern trends - though her signature bouffant was definitely reminiscent of Jackie’s hairstyle from more than a decade earlier. Betty’s love of tailored jackets and silk scarves (she had over 700 of them!) was imitated by legions of women.


Nancy Reagan

A true fashion lover, Nancy turned to top designers including Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera during her husband Ronald’s presidency in the ’80s. Her Chanel-inspired power suits harkened back to Jackie’s iconic outfits. Nancy favoured crimson shades – often referred to as ‘Reagan Red’ – and shrugged off critics who lambasted her extensive (and expensive) wardrobe. "You have your way of doing things, and that’s it."


Hillary Clinton

Even back in the ’90s when she was First Lady, Hillary wore a lot of trouser suits – which helped form the cheeky narrative that she wore the trousers during husband Bill’s presidency. Her taste for tailored power suits, complete with oversized buttons (albeit with pants, rather than skirts), was a direct nod to the looks Oleg Cassini had fashioned for Jackie Kennedy, and the two shared a liking for bold accessories as well. (Pearls and the White House go hand-in-hand, it seems!) In more recent months, Hillary’s distinctive look led her supporters to dub themselves ‘Pantsuit Nation.’


Michelle Obama

During her eight years in the White House, Michelle, 52, became an influential champion of American fashion. Her first official portrait as First Lady paid tribute to Jackie’s signature style: a sleeveless little black dress by New York City designer Michael Kors and a double string of white pearls – a similar look to what Jackie wore to welcome Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco to the White House in 1961.

Michelle went on to modernise power dressing by pairing high-end labels with affordable pieces in bright colours and vibrant patterns from the likes of J. Crew and Ann Taylor. "It all boils down to comfort level," she told Vogue of her fashion choices. "If I'm going to make you comfortable, then I have to be comfortable first."


Melania Trump

The incoming First Lady makes no secret of her admiration for Jackie's fashion sense. "She had a very beautiful, elegant, simplebut feminine style," Melania has said.

The sharp red coat that Melania, 46, wore at the Iowa Caucus in February was reminiscent of the tailored one Jackie wore when John announced his presidential bid in 1960. With her predilection for Chanel handbags, shift dresses and head-to-toe colour palettes, the Slovenia native and former model – whose mother was a clothing designer – could channel Jackie Kennedy's regal elegance.

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