Top 10 First Lady Fashion Looks
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
May 25, 2011
Filed Under Celebrities
Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Every First Lady, whether she’s American or married to the head of state in another country, has her own distinct style of dressing.
Sometimes that style is newsworthy; other times it’s ho-hum boring. Some First Ladies are disinterested in fashion and are considered a flop (e.g., Hillary Clinton) whereas others are all about fashion and end up setting trends left and right.
Here are the top ten first lady fashion looks:
10. Hot shoes
How can we forget the shoe-obsessed First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos, a former Miss Manila. Her husband was ousted from power in 1986, forcing the couple to flee their country. This First Lady reportedly had up to 3,000 pair of shoes.
9. Vive la France
Mary Todd Lincoln was addicted to shopping and fashion. A former slave served as her seamstress and copied the elegant French designs that Mrs. Lincoln coveted. This First Lady felt it was her civic duty to look fabulous. When her husband was assassinated, Mrs. Lincoln found herself in financial peril and huge debt because of her over-the-top spending.
8. Ravishingly pink
Mamie Eisenhower was the quintessential 1950s fashionista. She was always on the best dressed lists in that era. She had a penchant for pink and wore this color any chance she got. She is credited for making pink one of the most popular paint and clothing colors in the 1950s. People often criticized her hairstyle that featured short bangs that weren’t particularly flattering, but they liked her clothing.
7. Going hatless
The top First Lady fashion faux pas in recent memory goes to Samantha Cameron, the wife of England’s prime minister, who did NOT wear a hat to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Former Spice Girl Mel B said that was an obvious nose thumbing at the monarchy and that one simply does not go hatless to a royal occasion. This British Spice Girl should know. Some are calling it high treason!
6. Show some skin
The very young First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland, 21, who was the first woman to get married in the White House and who is the youngest American First Lady of all time, was bawdy enough that she got a rise out of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which beseeched her to wear modest clothing. Grover Cleveland’s youthful wife had a penchant for shoulder bearing gowns and low cut bodices. At one point, it was reported that she was no longer going to wear a bustle, which wasn’t true, but when the word got out bustle sales plunged.
5. Designer duds
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan had it going on when it came to fashion. She had a huge collection of gowns and suits by Adolpho and Oscar de la Renta and spent mucho on hairdressers. She got in trouble, though, when she accepted free clothing from the designers. This is a no-no. Some observers said Nancy’s wardrobe was more Hollywood than it was Washington.
4. Flapper style
Florence Harding, the First Lady between 1921 and 1923 was in her sixties when her husband was elected President but, by golly, she was determined to wear the fashions of the day, and she did. Mrs. Hardy wore sequined flapper dresses and had short hair and was the first First Lady to be photographed while wearing pants. Mrs. Harding had the nerve to wear exactly what she wanted to wear. Kudos to Mrs. Harding for being a swinging flapper even though she was well past middle age.
3. Fit & preppie
Michelle Obama: The jury is still out on this one. Some people think she dresses fabulously, whereas others hate her style and don’t think she has any style to speak of. Mrs. Obama has definitely made her mark in the world of fashion, showing off her beautifully toned arms and frequently wearing cardigans and belts.
2. Model status
At present, the top prize must go to France’s First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, who is so effortlessly fashionable that it makes most women, and certainly the majority of present and former First Ladies, pale in comparison. Of course, Carla had a head’s up. She was a fashion model in a former life.
Jackie Kennedy. We can just stop there. Carla Bruni Sarkozy may be close to stealing the title from Jackie O, but she’ll never quite clench it. Jackie’s style is inimitable. And it is timeless and elegant. Her style looks as good today as it did 50 years ago and that’s quite a coupe.