First ladies through the years-the good, the bad and the ugly in fashion

First ladies through the years: The good, the bad and the ugly in fashion

Jacqueline Kennedy in Venezuela during her December 1961 trip to South America.

Being the First Lady isn’t an easy job. Some First Ladies stood by their men and kept a low profile once they reached the White House. This means they wear plain, traditional clothes and sported blazzae makeup and hair. However, some First Ladies decided to make their mark on history by expressing their personal style through sporting cutting edge clothing, trendsetting hair and makeup.

One of the most stylish First Ladies in history was Jackie Kennedy. Kennedy had a unique, highly distinctive sense of style. She loved outfits that showed off her collar bone and her neck. She was often seen wearing different ensembles that were just off the shoulder.

Kennedy was known for not being afraid to wear bold colors. She was one of the first of her generation to wear bright yellow, pink and red. She looked amazing in the iconic pink and gray suit with the pill box hat. She was a fan of wearing dresses/outfits with cinched waists and fashionable belts. She would often combine classic white and black separates for a sleek, classy look. Kennedy was never one to stray from a good print or pattern.

Her hair was fashion forward thanks in part to then stylist Kenneth Battelle. Battelle was responsible for Kennedy’s amazing locks. He thought hair should be light and healthy similar to a child’s hair texture. Her look was far from that at that time. Ladies were into perms and styling until their hair would sometimes fall out. Battelle would cut Kennedy’s hair wet and blunt. He would divide the hair into sections to create Kennedy’s signature bouffant hairdo.

To complete her look, she wore very little makeup. She pulled it off well as she was a natural beauty. She was known for wearing eyeshadow, eyeliner that played up her doe like eyes. She would complete her look with a pinkish color on her lips.

Several years later, Rosalynn Smith Carter was a stark contrast from Kennedy. She was a plain jane in the White House. Carter wore old clothes and sported a generational specific hairdo. She didn’t gain any points with Americans when she decided to wear an “old/recycled” outfit to her husband’s inauguration. She was very modest and very frugal in her fashion, hair and makeup choices. Her focus was more on the issues rather than being a fashion plate in the White House.

Official White House photograph of Nancy Reagan, wife to then-President of the United States Ronald Reagan.

Shortly after Carter, came first lady Nancy Reagan. Reagan loved bringing the glam back to the White House. She frequently wore designer outfits and gowns. Her look was dubbed clean and classic. Reagan had her hair cut and styled by several different on staff hairstylists. She also would color her hair frequently as she wasn’t a fan of letting anyone seen her grays. Her makeup was very minimal with a neutral color palate.

First Lady Laura Bush brought the pixie haircut into the spotlight. Bush’s dark brown locks shimmered with the haircut. She kept that look throughout her husband’s tenure in the White House.

Bush became known for her classic, proper look. She was often seen wearing plain colored coordinating pants suits and dresses. She was never one to show skin or take any major fashion risks. The same boded true with her makeup. She was never one to wear a lot of makeup. She was known for rocking a reddish lip when she was seen on camera.

Fast forward to 1993, then came current Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Clinton became known for great hair and debonair pants suits. Her makeup featured strong, dark reds and browns. She was usually seen with a red lip. At that time the public focused more on her look rather than her overall intellect. Time will tell if she will win the Democratic nomination to run for President.

Barack Obama at the 36th NAACP Awards Arrivals, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA 03-19-05
Michelle and Barack Obama at the 36th NAACP Awards Arrivals, Los Angeles.

Michelle Obama entered the White House in 2009. Obama has been a trendsetter ever since day one. She has admitted she spends a great deal of time picking clothing for herself and her family.

The time she sported an outfit from J. Crew on the Tonight Show in 2008. The outfit started flying off store shelves. Obama picked up the combo from ordering online. In addition to being a great dresser, she’s also is known for recycling her outfits. She likes blending different pieces (old and new) together. She has sported some of the most glamourous dresses in history for White House events. Designers flock to her as every look she wears becomes an instant sensation.

Obama has seen many hairstyles throughout her husband’s tenure in the White House. She has rocked, short hair, chin length hair, to shoulder length hair. Her makeup is very chic. She accentuates her features through contouring. She likes a basic color palate of reds, neutrals,etc. She also loves playing up her eyes. She loves changing her eye makeup and playing with color palates.

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