First Ladies Fashion (From a Non-Fashionista)

One of the coolest things I saw in Washington, D.C. (official trip post with pictures to come!) this week was the collection of First Ladies’ dresses at the Museum of American History. What girl doesn’t like to see “dressy dresses” as my 6-year-old daughter called them? Here are my official First Lady Fashion award winners:

Most Classic

Jackie Kennedy’s Yellow Evening Gown – I love the straight, clean look with the sash to accent her small waist. The off-the-shoulder look and long side train were the perfect way to personalize the dress!

Most Classic Runner-up

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Pink Inaugural Reception Gown – Again, love the straight lines and the symmetry. A little too reserved for me – would have liked to see a little skin.

Most Whimsical

Florence Harding’s Dress
I love the lightness and flowiness of this dress! Wouldn’t you love to just twirl around in it?

Most Whimsical Runner-Up
Mamie Eisenhower’s Evening Gown
This dress is just fun! It takes a confident, boisterous person to wear this flashy dress!

Best Pre-1900s Gown
Francis Cleveland’s Evening Gown
Though I’d prefer brighter colors, I appreciate all the attention to detail: the fur-edged hem, the side scallops, the rosettes, the damask-like print.

Most Tacky
Lady Bird Johnson’s Inaugural Ball Gown
Bright yellow and fur may have been in style back then, but I just can’t bring myself to like this dress.

Best Style
Nancy Reagan’s Inaugural Ball Dress
Well the image doesn’t do it justice, but this was really a fabulous dress. Not over the top but not too understated. I love the scalloped lines of the “neck” of the dress (going down her chest and under her arm)! This dress has a classic feel with its straight lines, but the beaded details and one-shouldered style increase it’s elegance.

Personal Favorite
Mamie Eisenhower’s Inaugural Ball Dress
This is how a pink dress is done! I LOVE the cut of this dress, which is flattering on most figures, and the 2,000+ rhinestones just make it shine beautifully! I love seeing it on Mamie, too – she’s got such a mischievous look in her eye in that photo.

And if you’re wondering, yes, Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball gown was there, too. Here it is:

I think it looked good on her, but when you look at it up close, it seems a little tacky:


  1. Karla Wardlow says:

    the pink one was my favorite too! I loved it! I do like Michelle Obama’s dress though…I actually had the opposite reaction to you – I didn’t love it when I saw pictuers from the Inauguration but when I saw the dress by itself I loved it. ha ha…glad you guys had a good time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *