Jackie left a legacy as fearless fashion icon experimenting with bold colors and graphic motifs. As JFK said after a presidential visit in May 1961: “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.” Jackie spent during her first year as First Lady of the United States more than her husband’s annual salary, to stay that impactful, yet quite often she was praised for reproducing pricey French couture at ‘Chez Ninon’ in New York’s Garment District. Such was the case with her pink Chanel knock-off she styled with signature white gloves from NY-based LaCrasia on the day of the JFK assassination.
First Lady 60s Style
She introduced pillbox hats by Halston, mainly because she didn’t like brims that concealed her face. Her slim waistline was accentuated with bow-tie belts. Beyond neutrals, she adopted monochromes including red, yellow, and the bright pastels designer Oleg Cassini suggested for her solo Indian Tour silk outfits. He also created her sable-trimmed wool coat that stood out from the fur-clad crowd on the Inauguration Day, and he often translated Givenchy, Balenciaga and Dior into her personal style. Her support to American tailors came with the exception of the original Givenchy gown she symbolically purchased for a dinner at Versailles in 1962. For a perfect fit, her in-house dresser nicknamed ‘Provi’ made the alterations. With her inaugural gown and cape from Bergdorf Goodman, a new glamorous chapter opened for the White House epitomized with her triple strand pearl necklace.
Off-Duty 70s Looks
In private, Jackie loved sleek casual looks, seen in pictures from her vacations in Capri and Rome in the 60s. That daring fashionista came out during the 70s, for eveningwear too. She skipped the boatneck sheath dresses and A-line skirt ensembles, for bell bottoms, frilled V-neck or off-the-shoulders, jeans, and sailor cropped pants. She was even spotted walking barefoot. Married now to Greek tycoon Onassis in a mini dress by her friend Valentino, she was the legendary Jackie O’ rocking Hermès or Emilio Pucci headscarves, bohemian dresses, Grecian sandals, and big sunnies by the likes of Nina Ricci. Saint Laurent fitted her closet more.
Jackie Kennedy's Signature Style
Referencing the functionality of her past equestrian looks, she became sporty again, with longer hair and a lasting tan. Jackie’s high esthetics made her adopt fashion trends on her own terms. She didn’t shy from color, but she also appreciated the power of white and its sharp contrast to black. Her Marimekko dresses for the 1960 campaign were as bold as the leopard coat Cassini made for her later. She was holding either top-handle or hobo purses and walking in low-heel pumps for extra comfort.