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From Martha Washington to Melania Trump: U.S. First Ladies Fashion Ups and Downs



Today, the first ladies are under daily close public scrutiny. What is she wearing? Is the protocol complied with? Who is the designer of her outfit? How much does it cost? And how “flies” from fashion critics and Marvanna from “Classmates” to poor Melania Trump!

If you think that this is a trend only in recent decades, you are deeply mistaken. chose the most interesting facts about the fashionable ups and downs of companions of the US presidents.

Martha Washington (1731 − 1802)

The wife of US President George Washington was not only the very first lady of the United States, but also the first American woman whose portrait appeared on a postage stamp and a banknote.

She loved outfits, but deliberately dressed quite conservatively. She did this for a specific purpose - to show that she understands ordinary Americans and, in general, is a man of the people. Marta wore modest dresses from homespun fabric, for which she reused threads from silk stockings.

Photo: Wikipedia, public domain

Dolly Madison (1768 − 1849)

Bold neckline, black pearls and feather turbans have always attracted attention to Dolly Madison. At social receptions, she could appear even with a parrot on her shoulder.

Fashion is power, Dolly thought, and her husband’s rival, who lost the presidential election, said that he was defeated by Mr. and Mrs. Madison, admitting that without the activity of Mrs. Madison, his chances would have been much higher! When British troops occupied Washington in 1812, it was Dolly who saved silver and jewelry from the White House. Real fashionist, what can I say.

Julia Tyler (1820 − 1889)

While the other first ladies preferred not to talk to reporters, Julia was very frank with reporters. Perhaps that is why the conservative part of society did not greatly favor the new first lady. She became the second wife of the current president, the age difference with which was 30 years.

However, the couple lived 18 years together until the death of the man, in a happy marriage 7 children were born. Julia Tyler became the first wife of the president, who posed for a new invention - photography. Next to her was always an exotic breed of dog - Italian greyhound.

She always wore white satin dresses for formal receptions, and wove a teardrop (ribbon or chain with precious stones) into her hair.

On the subject: 9 of the rules of appearance that the first ladies must follow, but still violate

Photo: Wikipedia, public domain

Harriet Lane Johnston (1830 − 1903)

At one time, Harriet Lane Johnston was a recognized icon of style, but her outfit for the inauguration of her husband caused a real scandal in society. And all because Harriet put on a dress in the latest European fashion - with a low neckline, which, according to the puritan top of the Republicans, was unacceptable liberty.

But Harriet was not the only thing to remember. Another popular topic of discussion was her charity. She founded a shelter for children with disabilities, which still exists.

Mary Lincoln (1818 − 1882)

Mary could well have become the idol of fashionistas, if not for the bloody Civil War. She refused to understand that luxurious outfits are completely inappropriate in a difficult time, when most of the population suffers deprivation. It is also worth noting that it was with Mary's light hand that the fashion world learned about Tiffany. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln, at her request, acquired a set of pearl jewelry, thereby giving the jewelry brand a green light in the life of the first persons of the state, and then of popular actors and businessmen.

Francis Cleveland (1864 − 1947)

Francis became the first lady in 21 the year she married a friend of her father, current president Grover Cleveland. She immediately became popular thanks to her charm. Francis held two appointments a week, one of which could be women who were released after work. In addition, Francis was the first of the spouses of presidents who began to actively appear in commercials. Her photographs adorned literally everything - from soap and perfume to boxes of cookies and packages of pills. Americans, one after another, copied her dresses with tournaments and her hair - a bunch of "a la Cleveland."

Photo: Wikipedia, public domain

Grace Coolidge (1879 − 1957)

In the "roaring" twenties, women finally got the right to vote, began to wear pants and were able to play sports. The energetic Grace immediately adopted all the radical trends. She began to wear bright dresses without sleeves, fashionable hairstyles, and for portraits she often posed with a handmade raccoon.

The first lady has always been an avid fashionista. At the beginning of the marriage, the young spouse wrote to her mother-in-law the following:

“If you only knew what dresses my wife bought for herself. Whoever sees all these dresses for the first time will understand the reason why I cannot afford to rent an apartment better than this. ”

But this “miser” did not spare any money on dresses for his wife. She always dressed well, even when they were alone at home. Grace loved to go shopping with her husband, she trusted him with good taste and was surprised at the patience that he showed at the same time.

Mamie Eisenhower (1896 − 1979)

In fashion history, Mamie Eisenhower came in under the nickname “Pink First Lady.” And all because I almost always wore dresses of my favorite pink color. Her bedroom was painted pink, daily brought fresh roses or carnations, of course, pink.

Waking up in the morning, she put on a pink robe, and tied her hair with a pink ribbon. The true nature of dreamy Mamie can be appreciated by recalling a case from her family life. Once she was very late for dinner with her husband, and when she finally appeared, he exclaimed: “Do you realize that the President of the United States is waiting for you?” - “Of course, but I had to dress up for my husband.”

On the subject: An awkward moment: how Elena Zelenskaya, Michelle Obama and other top officials violated etiquette

Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 − 1994)

It is not so difficult to be fashionable, it is enough to follow a universal example. It is a completely different matter to have your own timeless style like “lead-like”.

Simple cut dresses, pearl necklaces and huge dark glasses are still the hallmark of Jackie Kennedy. She is without a doubt the most famous presidential wife, one of the most legendary style icons.

Jacqueline had a weakness for Parisian designers, especially Chanel, who constantly reproached her as a manifestation of vivid unpatriotism. In order to no longer give a reason to spiteful critics, the first lady herself came up with sketches and design of her outfits. You can evaluate the unique Kennedy’s style not only by looking at archived images, but also in the film “Jackie” starring Natalie Portman - the creators tried to create the most authentic images.

Photo: video frame YouTube / CBS Sunday Morning

Nancy Reagan (1921 − 2016)

In 2011, according to opinion polls, Nancy Reagan was recognized as the most popular first lady of the United States in the history of this country. She has implemented many charitable projects, the most notorious of which was the Say No campaign against drugs.

However, there is a place for fashionable scandals in her reputation. At the beginning of the 80's, Nancy was accused of spending excessive government money on outfits. After that, the president’s family promised that over time all things will be transferred to museums. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, led by Ralph Lauren, even filed an official petition so that the first lady was obliged to choose the clothes of American designers.

Michelle Obama (1964)

The first and so far the only black first lady Michelle Obama is loved for her modest but very sophisticated style. She always emphasized that clothes should be comfortable and “cute”.

As a rule, the first ladies of the USA wear clothes of one or two designers, but Michelle Obama went beyond the scope of this template. She managed to try on dresses from more than 40 designers from around the world, thereby making them popular in an instant. Michelle was not shy about appearing in public and in the clothes of democratic brands. Michelle Obama was also remembered thanks to her so-called “stylish diplomacy”: she often came to meetings with foreign politicians in dresses created by designers from these countries.

Michelle and Barack Obama. Photo: Instagram / obamawhitehouse

Melania Trump (1970)

And how to do without Melania Trump - the current first lady of the United States. That's really who they rinse without tiredness. They scold for heels worn for a visit to flooded Texas and ruined Puerto Rico. They condemn him for an inappropriate event with a bright pink coat, in which Melania from the UN scene broadcast about the fight against violence.

They do not stop calculating the budget of the president's wife for designer outfits. So, the famous coat "in flowers" from Dolce & Gabbana, worth more than 50 thousand dollars, caused a resonance. One of the most scandalous things was jacket with the inscription: “I don't care, do you?”, In which Melania went to a center for migrant children in Texas. True, having arrived at the place, Melania changed her outfit to a more formal one. But this image still made a lot of noise around her person. The spouse, US President Donald Trump, stood up for the first lady, explaining on his Twitter that the inscription was addressed to fake media: the first lady was convinced of their falsity, but she no longer cares about it.

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